The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 9, 2012

House fire is fourth in Appanoose Co. in recent weeks

CENTERVILLE — A house south of Centerville has become the fourth area structure consumed by fire since late September.

The latest blaze was at the intersection of 215th Avenue and 590th Street, about eight miles south of Centerville in Appanoose County. It is unclear whether the house was occupied at the time of the fire.

The house fire follows a weekend fire at the Sharon Chapel Church. That fire destroyed the church, which had been located at 540th Street and 260th Avenue in Appanoose County, and is the subject of a criminal investigation.

On September 25, a fire at the Gypsy Quarter, a store near the Centerville square, destroyed the building that housed the store. It took crews three hours to bring the fire under control. Adjacent buildings suffered smoke and water damage.

The cause of the Gypsy Quarter fire is known. Investigators concluded a contractor inadvertently started the fire while doing work on the roof. Sparks from a grinder were the source of the fire.

But the cause of the fourth fire, on September 24 at the Appanoose County Fairgrounds, is not so clear. Investigators in that case suspect foul play. The horse barn and show arena were destroyed in the fire.

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