Historic log cabin goes up in flames; investigators suspect arson

MARQUAND, Mo. - Fire officials said an arsonist has been causing serious problems in southeast Missouri by targeting old and historic buildings.

It’s happened in and near Marquand, Missouri, which is about 100 miles south of St. Louis.

The crime scene tape was still in place around an old log cabin in the city park. The cabin is the community’s pride and joy, very old very historic. It appeared somebody set the building as well as a nearby church on fire and on purpose.

“Many people were in tears over this,” said Marquand resident Anita Neil.

The log cabin was built in the late 1800s and it went up in flames early Thursday morning. The cabin was owned by one of the original families to settle in Marquand.

“It bothers me. I just don’t know who would do something like that,” said resident Lisa Bromer.

Early Saturday morning, the old Buckhorn Church just outside of Marquand burned. The church had not been used in years. Residents said it’s about a century old. There were similarities between the church fire and the log cabin blaze.

Neither building had any utilities. Experts said it appears there was an accelerant used in both cases.

“Arson sounds like to me what it’s going to be, I haven’t had any official statement yet…it sounds like we have a pyro running around somewhere. I don’t know if they’re here or not, hope they’re gone,” Marquand Assistant Fire Chief Phillip Karn said.

The log cabin was the centerpiece of Marquand’s annual Pioneer Days, which was celebrated days before the fire. Many of the items that decorated the cabin were donated by local citizens.

“Everybody is just heartbroken that it’s gone,” Neil said.

No one was injured in either fire. The race is on to catch the person responsible.

“They had a person of interest I don’t know if it panned out or not,” Karn said.

There was talk of starting a fundraiser to rebuild and restore the old log cabin.