Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 24, 2012

Foul play suspected in early morning fairground blaze

By Krystal Fowler and Kyle Ocker
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Two vital pieces to the Appanoose County Fairgrounds were destroyed in an early Monday morning fire and now Appanoose County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward for tips that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of those involved.

A 911 call at approximately 2:50 a.m. Monday morning reported a fire in the horse barn and show arena at the Appanoose County Fairgrounds. According to a press release from the Centerville Fire Department, when firefighters arrived, they found both buildings heavily consumed by fire.

The fire department had the blaze under control within 35 minutes of arriving.

"They said that at 2:30 [a.m.] there was no sign of any fire," said Appanoose County Fair Board President Curt Sebolt. "They called me about 3 [a.m.]…and it was about 3:30 [a.m.] when we got there and it was just about all gone then, so it burned fast."

Sebolt said the board is currently waiting on an insurance assessment before moving forward with rebuilding.

"We're wondering if it might be vandalism, but we don't know," said Sebolt.

According to Sebolt the horse barn was built in 1940 and the show arena and roof connecting the two buildings were added later.

The fire is currently being investigated and Appanoose County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the fire.

Anyone with information about the fire is urged to call the Law Center at (641) 437-7100 or the top line at (641) 856-3134.

If any person, ground, organization or business would like to pledge a financial contribution to the reward fund, they may contact Chief Tom Demry at the Law Center.