DEXTER, Mo. -- A local teen has been charged with setting the fire that destroyed a workshop on South Sassafras Street near downtown Dexter early Friday morning.
When questioned about the fire, 18-year-old Timothy L. Keeling admitted to the arson, police said, and admitted he had set fires at a residence in St. Louis and at a home in Bernie in the past.
Keeling is charged with second-degree arson. He is in jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Firefighters responded to a shop fire at Stoddard and Sassafras Streets at around 6:40 a.m. Friday. The shop was owned by Bob Weathers whose home sits on the property but was not involved in the fire. When firefighters arrived, the building was engulfed. The 26-by-28-foot workshop housed an antique vehicle, mowers and tools used in Weathers' mower repair business. The building was a total loss.
Fire chief Don Seymore suspected arson was involved in the fire. Electricity was shut off to the building, except for a motion detector. Given that information and the nature of the fire, Seymore requested that local police investigate.