Possible Arson at Catfish Place
Dec. 17, 2013

CAPTION: Chillicothe Fire Department personnel were called to the fire, located at the former Catfish Place building on Highway 36, around 12:54 Tuesday.

Submitted Photo

The Chillicothe Fire Department was called by the Chillicothe Police Department at 12:54 Tuesday to investigate smoke or steam coming from the old Catfish Place on Highway 36. Engines 326 and 330 went en route, and CPD advised the building was on fire. Engine 329 was requested to respond with more personnel. Upon arrival, heavy smoke was coming from the eves of the building. Engine 330 was used to lay supply line to the hydrant.

Command did a walk around of the structure and found the electric meter was out. Firefighters requested FEC to cut the power wire from the building. Firefighters found a propane tank on and flowing propane. The tank was shut off.

CFD personnel pulled a 1 3/4 inch preconnect from engine 326 to start extinguishing the fire from the north doorway. The hydrant was found to be ded with no water. Firefighters requested CFD tanker 1 and tankers from Utica, Brookfield and Chula to respond. The Trenton Fire Department was requested to respond to the Chillicothe Fire Department to provide coverage. Engine 329 was set up on the north side door to extinguish the fire. A portable tank was set up for engine 326 to draft out of for water supply. Tankers shuttled water to the portable tank. Vent holes were cut in the roof, ceilings were pulled and the fire was extinguished. Eves and siding were also pulled off, and foam was used to put out any further hot spots. Foot prints were in the snow going to the door of the structure and were noticed throughout the building. A fuel can was found, as well as a bottle with a wick in it.

Firefighters limited traffic around the evidence, left it alone, and the Missouri State Fire Marshall Office was contacted. The Fire Marshall arrived and was assisted by CFD as needed. Vehicle tracks were noticed to the north side of the structure, as well as the south side. CPD was on scene prior to the arrival of CFD firefighters and noticed these things, as well as the odor of some type of fuel.

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