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      Salvaging what's left of Grand View Nursery

      UPDATED: August 23 at 4:11 p.m.

      Investigators have determined the fire at Grand View Nursery in Hannibal to be accidental in nature.

      Investigators aren't sure exactly what started the fire. But a hired investigation company from St. Louis and the Missouri State Fire Marshal's office think it started in the northern part of the attic.

      There were ventilation fans in the attic, so the blaze went undetected for some time before the owner discovered it as he was leaving Saturday night.

      The fire spread quickly to the retail space, which contained fuel, oil and plastics.

      Volunteers and firefighters were able to save about $324 thousand worth of equipment.

      There were no injuries reported, but a shop cat was believed to have died in the fire.


      UPDATED: August 22 at 6:15 p.m.

      What's left of the Grand View Nursery was still smoldering Monday evening, and investigators still don't know what caused the fire Saturday.

      Monday, the Missouri State Fire Marshal and claims adjusters studied the scene with Hannibal Rural Fire Chief Mike Dobson.

      The chief says those hot spots have kept crews from getting a closer look at the debris, but they have found some items that did not burn.

      "They found a desk in the northeast corner that actually had records in it. We opened the drawer and the records were viable, with white paper. So there are a few items in there that are going to be critical for the business, we hope," said Dobson.

      Dobson says investigators will bring in large equipment to enter the debris once the hot spots have cooled.


      Crews were back on scene Sunday at Grand View Nursery after a fire ripped through the two story building , destroying everything.

      The fire started right around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. An employee told KHQA the fire was mainly inside the building until two firefighters opened two doors to go inside.That gave the fire enough oxygen to really take off.

      "We believe it might have started in the shop area about 30 minutes after we closed. When we got here, pretty much, the building was fully engulfed. A lot of units full of fuel," said Manager Vincent Howald.

      Fuel that intensified the fire considerably. The building used to stand two stories tall. The downstairs was filled with John Deere tractors and Yamaha ATVs. The second story

      Sunday, crews moved equipment that was inside to another location. Howald was also on site surveying the damage.

      "There's nothing else we can do. Everything is gone from this area other than the debris. And we'll wait. We can't do anything until our insurance company comes and looks at that and then we'll start clean up," said Howald.

      Howald says hot spots will continue for the next couple of days.

      "I work 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day. So, it's pretty much my whole life right there. We'll sit down and regroup and figure out what the best plan will be and come back even stronger," said Howald.

      No one was injured in last night's fire, though Howald says the store's cat did not make it. The cause is still under investigation. Employees are hopeful they will rebuild in the same location.