A northwest Missouri sheriff says a fire that destroyed a historic building in Maitland is considered suspicious and that the building’s owner also is missing.
Holt County Sheriff Scott Wedlock says firefighters were called to the fire around 7 a.m. Saturday at the opera house, which has been deemed a total loss. The building was constructed in 1893 and had housed a tavern in recent years.
The sheriff said the building’s owner is out of jail on bond for charges of possession of child pornography.
Firefighters were unable to immediately investigate the cause of the blaze because the building continued to smolder into the evening.