Loss from fire at building leased by state tops $2.5 million; cause undetermined

(The Center Square) – The estimated loss from the fire at a state-leased building in Jefferson City is $2.5 million, but that doesn’t include the state’s total equipment loss.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, according to a report from the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. The report states that someone passing by on Highway 50 reported the fire at about 8:51 p.m. on Nov. 1. The caller reported a fire on the roof of the building, the Jefferson City Fire Department said.

While the cause of the fire remains undetermined, investigators could not eliminate that the fire started on the roof or within the attic portion of the structure. Investigators determined that fire damage to the interior of the building was caused by “fall down burning from the attic level” of the structure, according to a news release.

The Department of Social Services and the Office of Administration’s Information Technology Services Division continue to provide services to residents. State employees have been temporarily relocated after the fire at 1621 E. Elm Street.

The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to the emergency. No one was injured in the fire.

“Above all, we remain thankful that no one was injured during the Elm Street fire,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement. “I could not be prouder of the dedicated public servants who have continued to serve Missourians in spite of these circumstances. Whether it is recovering from a tornado, fire, or navigating a global pandemic, our state team members remain committed to Missourians.”

A contractor has already started recovering and disposing of state-owned equipment, the governor said. The Office of Administration is working with the impacted state agencies to replace equipment. Damage estimates are still under review as the state further determines what is salvageable, according to a news release.

“I am very grateful that no one was harmed during this tragic event,” said Ken Zellers, acting commissioner for the Office of Administration. “Though I am saddened by the difficulties many of our teammates are experiencing, I’m grateful for how our state team members have responded, worked together as a team, and kept government operations and customer services from being disrupted. This week has been a challenge for many of us, but it is inspiring knowing that we will overcome this obstacle together.”

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