City Complex Near Completion

September 3, 2003- Posted at: 9:00 p.m. CDT

DONIPHAN, Mo. -- In just a few months after Doniphan's city complex was gutted by fire in May and now their city hall and police department will soon be moving into a new home.

Crews have almost completed the construction of a new $425,000 facility that Police Chief Richard Joyner says was basically started from scratch.

"The old building was completely torn down the only thing that was left standing was the jail cells," Joyner said.

A former inmate is being charged with first degree arson after allegedly sticking a pencil into an electrical socket to start the blaze that destroyed the Doniphan's jail and City Hall. Mayor Larry Ponder wants to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

"We're trying to make sure there is no wood available where inmates can start a fire," Ponder said. "Make sure there are no plug-ins where they are probably we're going to install sprinklers where we didn't have before that will take care of any fires we get into the attic area."

Officials say fires are never wanted, but some good has come from all of this: a new, safer, and more efficient building.