October 1, 2008 Edition

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Cleanup begins
at Hoxie building

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Now that the fire and insurance inspectors have finished their investigation into the cause of the fire that destroyed the Grisham Farms, Inc. building, formerly the Farm Service fertilizer storage building, cleanup and rebuilding plans are well underway.

Muriel Allison of Walnut Ridge, plant manager of the local branch of Grisham Farms, said they hope to have the site cleaned up by Wednesday night, and work on the foundation for a new building will begin on Thursday morning.

Square Post Buildings of Hoxie will construct the company's new building, according to Allison.

Allison said no final determination of the cause of the fire has been made, but the insurance company plans to settle the claim next Tuesday.

Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts said the insurance investigator believes the fire was started by a short in the lighting system.

"Several investigators and engineers have been involved in searching for the cause of the fire and where it actually started," Roberts said. "They have differing opinions about the cause and the starting point of the fire. The legal decision may go on for years."

He said they do agree that the fire was not caused by spontaneous combustion in the products stored there. He also said that the word arson has never even been mentioned.

The building was used to store waste products from cereal and potato and corn chips to be used in feed for animals by Grisham Farms, Inc., whose main office is located in Mountain Grove, Missouri.

The building was totally destroyed by fire on August 18.

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