Big blaze burns five downtown buildings

Firefighters battled a large blaze in Novinger, Mo., overnight.

A structure in the area of town known as main street"at the intersection of S. Frankford Ave. and 2nd St."was totally engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Novinger Mayor Jeff Dodson tells KTVO the structure contained five buildings. He says the first two were a secondhand store; the third was Swafford Heating and Air Conditioning and the other two were not currently being used.

The building has history in the community. One part of it served as the old Novinger City Hall and another was the former senior citizen recreation center.

Dodson says there were no firewalls in the building so the blaze spread quickly throughout all five parts of the structure.

It kept fire crews busy throughout the morning.

We arrived on the scene approximately quarter after to 20 after midnight. We finally left the scene about 7:30 a.m. this morning, which it is still burning in the basement a little bit. We didn't have enough water to put the whole thing out, and since it's in the basement we're letting it burn, said Novinger Northern Fire Chief Barry Mitchell.

City and fire officials are monitoring the fire as it burns out. Route O and S. Frankford Ave. are currently closed at that intersection.

Mitchell says five fire departments helped battle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal TMs office and the Adair County Sheriff's Office.