Replica school house damaged in fire

Monday, July 28, 2008
KIT DOYLE ~ kdoyle@semissourian.com The porch and awning of a small building still under construction burned Saturday evening at the entrance to Benton Hill Trace, a gated road west of Cape Girardeau off County Road 205.

A structure fire on Saturday night is not thought to be related to past fires in Cape Girardeau, said Steve Niswonger, batallion leader at the Cape Girardeau Fire Department at the time of the fire.

"All the related fires in town have been in the southeast portion of the city," Niswonger said. "This one is out of the way. It's not a high-volume pedestrian walkway."

The fire occurred at 186 Benton Hill Trace, a replica of the 1798 Mount Tabor one-room school house.

Although still under investigation, Niswonger said the fire is thought to have originated on the front right side of the porch leading to the front door.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Niswonger said.

The porch, the inside of the house and the bell tower were damaged in the fire.

The estimate damage loss is $20,000, a media release from the fire department said.

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