Historic building in Lepanto burns down, cause still unknown

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 8:19 PM CDT
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LEPANTO, Ark. (KAIT) - A historic building in Lepanto burned down Tuesday morning.

The building is known by locals as the Stuckey Brothers’ building, and was being used as a farm office and a bakery.

Responders got a call around 8:45 a.m. regarding the building catching fire, but there was no one inside the building at that time, so no one suffered injuries.

Some first responders on the sidewalk indicated that it looked like the fire was an accident, but Lepanto mayor and assistant fire chief Earnie Hill said that he does not know what caused the fire just yet.

“At this time, we don’t know what started it,” Hill said. “But the fire did start toward the rear of the building. Our main concern was to control it and keep it from getting to another structure behind the building.”

The structure behind the building was a Barton’s Lumber store, which is a sales beacon for the small community.

“There’s only three feet in between the buildings,” Hill said. “So that was our concern to get it under control as quickly as possible.”

Earlier Tuesday, city leaders said in a Facebook post that because of the fire, water would be dirty in town. They’re asking for patience from those who live in Lepanto.

We are having a major fire in town and the water WILL BE dirty for a while. Please be patient.The guys will get to it as soon as they are able! Thank you!

Posted by Lepanto City Hall on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Hill said it took a little over an hour for the fire to be put under control, and it did not spread to any other buildings.

A worker at the building seemed in high spirits despite the fire, and spoke off-camera regarding his feelings.

“That’s just part of it. It’s just an old building.”

The Lepanto, Marked Tree, and Osceola fire departments all responded in helping battle the fire.

On Friday, Lepanto fire officials said the cause of the fire was unknown, but that they do not suspect anything suspicious.

Officials said it appeared that the fire started in the attic toward the back of the building

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