Early morning fire causes damage to Loveall RVs

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | 2:21 p.m. CST; updated 11:34 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Damage resulted from a sudden fire at Loveall RVs at approximately 1:40 a.m. today. According to Boone County Fire Protection Public Information Officer Gale Blomenkamp, no one was injured in the fire.

COLUMBIA — An early morning fire at Loveall RV's caused damage estimated in the millions of dollars, said Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

The fire started in the maintenance area of the building and spread to the second floor mezzanine of the showroom, Blomenkamp said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters on the scene reported that the roof of the maintenance area had collapsed when they arrived, according to a news release. They were able to contain the fire within the second-floor showroom.

Initial damage estimates by the Boone County Fire Protection District put the cost in the millions of dollars because of extensive damage to the building, which needs to be torn down, Blomenkamp said.

Damaged property included:

  • Vehicles and RVs in the area where the roof collapsed.
  • Tools in the maintenance area.
  • The RV next to the building.
  • Heat damage to RVs surrounding the building.

Boone County Fire Protection District fire investigators are working with the state fire marshal's office to determine what started the fire, but they need to gain entry to the collapsed portion of the building to do so, Blomenkamp said.

The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is helping with the investigation. Blomenkamp said its involvement is standard practice for a commercial business of Loveall RV's size and because interstate commerce is involved.

Loveall RV's is located on Interstate 70 east of Columbia. The fire was reported by a motorist passing the fire on I-70 at 1:40 a.m.

Nine firetrucks and 40 firefighters responded to the fire. No injuries were reported.

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Antone P. Braga January 19, 2011 | 3:07 p.m.

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