JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Fire officials have been unable to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a garage Tuesday near downtown Jefferson City.
Fire investigators determined the blaze on Wall Way — which sent flames shooting into the sky — started in a crawl space but could not pinpoint an exact cause, according to a Jefferson City Fire Department report.
Police said squatters have used the structure — a detached garage with a basement — according to the report. However, evidence was not found to back up the theory that squatters lit a fire trying to stay warm.
The intense flames were powered by several flammable substances inside the garage, which held two lawnmowers, at least one propane tank, a Jeep with a nearly full gas tank and several gallons of motor oil, according to the report. Lumber and building materials were in the basement, the owner told fire investigators.
Firefighters lost their water supply at one point while battling the blaze, the report said.
The flammable substances combined with the loss of water “allowed the fire to progress beyond control,” the report says. The garage roof collapsed and the Jeep fell through the floor into the basement, the report says.
“Fire attack did resume and the fire was extinguished, but not until the structure, and its contents appeared to be a total loss,” the report says.