ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Port Authority is moving as quick as possible to get the wrecking ball moving after a fire broke out at the old Jamestown Mall for the second time in less than two months.

The mall has sat vacant for nearly a decade and become a long-standing eyesore in the community. Tuesday morning’s fire has only increased the urgency to demolish the building.

“Not again! I’m so ready—just like the community—for this this eyesore, for this hazard, to be over with, and I want it torn down,” St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Shalonda Webb said.

Smoke could be seen coming from the roof around 7 a.m. According to Black Jack Fire Chief Roger Ellison, firefighters found several small fires near the old Sears store in the center of the building.

Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fires. It’s still unclear what sparked the blaze.

The building was previously damaged after a fire on April 19. Two firefighters were injured in that incident and taken to a hospital. 

That blaze broke out near an old loading dock area close to where the Dillard’s department store was once located. A significant portion of the roof was missing after that fire, which is still under investigation.

Both fires have been classified as suspicious.

Webb, who represent the district, said it’s a top priority to have the mall demolished.

“It’s very important, because it’s not just the mall that need to be demolished, it’s dragging the whole community down,” she said.

The county port authority owns the property and is seeking bids from contractors. The port authority board has been in talks with state and county officials for months about using $12 million in federal COVID relief money to have the mall torn down.

County officials hope the site is cleared by the end of the year.