Columbia Fire Department still investigating cause of Sinclair Farm fire

Saturday, November 12, 2011 | 4:02 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Fire Department is still investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a building on Sinclair Farm Thursday night, Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said Saturday afternoon.

The chief had no additional information about the fire, which engulfed a large L-shaped building on the farm on Sinclair Road. Sinclair Farm is an MU research facility that was abandoned about 10 years ago.

Sapp said he hopes to have a damage estimate by Monday.

Sapp said Thursday that the cause of the fire was suspicious because the buildings had no utilities.

There have been reports of squatters and vandalism in the area, and there were reports of cars leaving the scene Thursday night, he said.

The farm opened in the mid-60s. The 543-acre facility was used mainly as a research farm. Its work included looking at cancer in pigs and studying epileptic seizures in cattle.

MU closed the farm in September 1989, as a way to reallocate and save money, according to a Columbia Daily Tribune article from the time.


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