WEBB CITY, Mo. —
Several businesses in a Webb City shopping center were extensively damaged by a fire late Monday, and officials are investigating the blaze as suspicious.
Webb City fire Chief Andy Roughton said firefighters were dispatched shortly after 9 p.m. to the Madison Square shopping center near the intersection of Madison Street and Fountain Road.
Roughton said all of the businesses in the center were closed at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. The fire was reported by a passer-by.
When crews reached the scene, smoke and flames were coming out of the building, he said. Firefighters made an “interior attack” to control the spread of the fire.
The fire was under control by about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, and crews remained at the scene until 3 a.m.
An investigator with the state Division of Fire Safety was assisting local firefighters and police in looking for the cause of the fire, which appeared “suspicious in nature,” Roughton said.
Ten businesses and a vacant store are located in the center. Roughton said Papa Murphy’s Pizza, an insurance office, World Finance Loans and Taxes, a smoke shop and the vacant store were damaged by the fire, and the surrounding businesses had smoke and heat damage.
FIREFIGHTERS from Joplin and Carterville assisted Webb City crews in battling the fire.