Investigators learned through a confidential informant that an Elsberry man is responsible for a fire destroying the Nutrition Center.
The fire which occurred in the early morning of Monday, Feb. 4 was deemed suspicious in nature by Elsberry Fire Chief Kevin Hailey which warranted a call to the Missouri Division of Fire Safety for further investigation.
According to a Probable Cause Statement from Investigator William Albus, the fire scene investigation concluded that the fire was intentionally set.
Upon arrival heavy smoke and fire were showing from the entire rear of the building. Elsberry firefighters battled the blaze that eventually over-took the entire structure.
A second alarm was called for mutual aid with crews from Winfield-Foley and Lincoln County Fire responding. A third-alarm was also called with crews from Northwest Fire, Eolia Fire and Clarksville Fire responding. Crews worked for hours battling the fire that completely destroyed the building.
Crews were able to use a large diameter hose line and a ladder truck to extinguish the fire.
During the investigation a confidential informant told the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department that Matlock had set the fire.
He later admitted to setting the fire by accident. He stated he set a mattress inside the structure on fire with a torch.
Matlock is being charged with Arson - 2nd Degree with bond set at $5,000.
(All persons charged of a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)