Suspicious Fire Destroys Abandoned MU Sinclair Research Farm
COLUMBIA - Units responded to a structure fire at the abandoned Sinclair Research Farm Center late Thursday on Sinclair Road. The Columbia Fire Department said the fire was suspicious since the building has not been used in about ten years, but the cause remains unknown.
"There have been reports to both CPD, Columbia Police and MUPD that there have been squatters perhaps or at least vandalism has occurred on several occasions," said Fire Marshall Steve Sapp. "We had a report that there were vehicles seen leaving the area tonight. We don't have a valid vehicle description or license plate number. Because the building did not have utilities it is somewhat suspicious of nature."
Authorities responded to the area around 8:17 p.m. Thursday night according to the Columbia dispatch website. Boone County tanker trucks were brought in to help transport water to the area.
Sapp said the building is a complete loss. Sinclair Research moved from the building in 2004 after privatizing and building a new location.
A previous report about chemicals proved untrue after MU Environmental Health and Safety officials confirmed the building had been properly decommissioned. Sinclair Road was shut down as a standard procedure. The fire took 20 units and four hours to put out.
There were no injuries reported.