Fire gutted Ott’s Auto Supply in Kahoka in the early hours of Tuesday, July 7. At about 1:55AM, a call to 911 reported smoke rolling out of the building.
“We were on the scene by 2:00AM, and it was pretty well gone,” said Kahoka Police Chief Bill Conger.
Firefighters from Kahoka and Wayland battled the blaze. At 11AM Tuesday, Kahoka firefighters were still putting water on hot spots while the Missouri Fire Marshal investigated the cause.
The fire was very difficult to fight, according to Assistant Fire Chief Mick Wood.
“We had very little access,” Wood said. “It has just a couple doors, and the windows are so small.” In addition, the building is made of brick, which was cracked in many places by the heat of the fire.
Wood said they waited until the Wayland Fire Department could foam the rear of the building before entering that part of the burning structure.
Burglary seems to be the motive of the fire. Tools and other items, including a shopping cart from the store, were found along the alley going east from the store, scattered for more than two blocks. Kahoka Police and Missouri State Patrol officers were collecting and bagging evidence along the alley, which will be sent to the State Crime Lab.
“Some (explicative deleted) broke in and stole my stuff, and burned the place,” store owner Bill Ott said.
A press release from the Fire Marshal is expected later. We will update this story as more information becomes available.