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The Carthage Press
  • Investigators ask for help with fire investigation

  • Investigators with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and the Carthage Fire Department are asking for the public's help in the investigation of an arson fire south of Carthage in November.
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  • Investigators with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and the Carthage Fire Department are asking for the public's help in the investigation of an arson fire south of Carthage in November.
    Carthage Fire Chief Chris Thompson said investigators want to talk to two people who were in a black Dodge or Chrysler minivan parked in front of the buildings at the time the fire was discovered.
    “We're trying to figure out who these two people are,” Thompson said. “We don't know if they were involved or if they were there and calling 9-1-1 to report the fire. Witnesses observed them at the scene and we just need to talk to them.”
    The Carthage Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire south of Carthage at approximately 5:18 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.  
    Thompson said the initial dispatch indicated the fire was located on Butternut Lane, which is south of Interstate 44 and west of Missouri Highway 59.
    Upon arrival, fire crews found two separate structures on fire. The first fire occurred in a vacant home at 14184 Butternut Lane and the second fire occurred in a commercial building located at 14112 Butternut Lane.
    Thompson said the commercial building was occupied by W.W. Truck Polishing, a company which cleans and polishes tractor trailers. Fire crews worked approximately three hours before the fires were extinguished.  
    Thompson said it was quickly determined both fires were intentionally set and classified as arson.  
    This case is being investigated by the Carthage Fire Department, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office.
    During the investigation, a witness informed investigators that a black minivan with two occupants had been seen in front W.W. Truck Polishing at the time the fire was discovered. 

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