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Fire contained at MFA in Clark, but expected to continue burning throughout day

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Fire crews are back on the scene of the fire that burned down the 100-year-old MFA building in Clark.

Crews were monitoring the scene throughout the day. As of Tuesday evening, crews are working on knocking down the remaining walls. Firefighters are assisting by extinguishing hot spots as they come up. Capt. Charlie Peel with the Southeast Randolph County Fire District said the process is moving faster than anticipated but he expects to be on scene throughout the night.

The origin of the fire has also not been determined. Peel said because of the damage, there is a chance a cause may never be determined.

“That is a possibility with any fire that you have,” Peel said. “We’re going to do every thing we can to figure it out. We have highly educated people here with the fire marshal’s staff and different people from the fire district to assist him. We’re going to do everything we can to figure it out but the possibility of it being an undetermined fire is very strong.”

Peel said because of the building’s age, it was more difficult to fight the fire.

“When it’s an old building, it means it has old wood,” Peel said. “The fire spreads very fast and there’s not really a whole lot we can do about it.”

Peel said over the building’s history, there were a number of modifications made that would make it easier for fire to spread.

“False ceilings and secondary ceilings that we have to contend with,” Peel said. “So the fire travels through the ceilings and that seems to be what happened in this case because the old structure, the false ceilings, and it just traveled through the whole structure very rapidly and we weren’t able to do anything. Had it been a newer structure with a fire suppression system, we wouldn’t have had near the damage that we have now.”

UPDATE 10:19am: A fire at MFA in Clark is still burning, nearly 11 hours after it ignited.

It happened around 11:30 last night.

Capt. Charlie Peel with the Southeast Randolph County Fire Protection District says the structure is nearly 100 years old and says it was not safe enough to go inside to extinguish the flames.

Peel says seven different fire departments responded to the fire and says about 100 firefighters were on scene Tuesday morning.

Ameren crews were also apparently on scene to make sure there were no impacts to power service or gas lines for the city.

He says explosions heard coming from the building was likely from car tires and containers inside.

The roof has since collapsed and the building is considered a total loss.

Fire officials say the fire is contained and they plan to let it burn out since it’s not safe enough to enter the structure.

They say they’ll remain on scene all day to monitor the fire and make sure it doesn’t spread to other structures.

Firefighters tell ABC 17 News no one was hurt in the fire. They say they expect it to keep burning throughout the day Tuesday since the building has plenty of material inside.

There’s no word on a cause of the fire.

Peel says the state fire marshal’s office will come investigate the cause of the fire Wednesday morning.

ORIGINAL: Emergency crews are working a large fire that started late Monday night in Clark.

The Moberly Fire Department and units from multiple counties are on scene battling the blaze at MFA.

Residents tell ABC 17 News that it is an historical building.

ABC 17 News has a crew on the scene that is hearing loud explosion-like sounds.

We will update this story as we gather more information and on ABC 17 News This Morning starting at 5 a.m.

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