No doubt about it, the fire at Earle's City Hall Annex was no accident.
"We're definitely investigating an arson. We've recovered quite a bit of evidence to state that it was an arson," says Tommy Martin with the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department.
Among the evidence, accelerants were found inside the building.
Outside, investigators found the power box had been visibly disabled. Crime scene tape protected tire tracks that were left in the mud.
The cause of the fire is clear; right now the motive is not.
"It's very early in the investigation and your guess is as good as mine," says Martin.
Outgoing Mayor Sherman Smith says, and investigators confirm, no documents were stored in the annex.
Smith is perplexed as to why someone would torch this particular city building.
Smith adds, " I have no idea, except maybe someone who was on the court docket and thought some records were stored over there, but it was to no avail."
When firefighters arrived the smoke was thick inside the building.
William Davis owns the business next door, and he can't believe his auto repair shop is okay.
"The fireman did a splendid job. If it had burnt down it would have burnt down my place too. So I'm grateful," says Davis.
The mayor says city business will be okay too. "Hopefully it will not be out of commission too long."
He'll just have to find other meeting places for court and council meetings.
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