Updated: Tuesday, 10:49 a.m.
A structure fire overnight this weekend in Winfield has been ruled arson.
The property is owned by John D. Laurance, according to Winfield Fire Marshal Chad Mayberry.
Mayberry told KSOK-Bob FM the property was a commercial property that had been vacant for at least a few years.
Following the blaze, the structural integrity of the building was evaluated. The southern, two-story portion of the building was constructed with wall of unreinforced clay tile, Mayberry said. The two-story portion was determined to be at risk of collapse.
Due to its proximity to railroad tracks and two city streets, it was declared an imminent hazard.
The City of Winfield had that portion of the building demolished Monday to prevent a potential structural collapse.
The arson investigation is ongoing.
Firefighters fought a substantial structure fire overnight early Sunday morning in Winfield.
According to a news release from Winfield Fire Marshal Chad Mayberry Sunday morning, the Winfield Fire/EMS Department responded to 420 E. 6th Avenue at 3:34 a.m. Sunday for the report of a structure fire.
Upon arrival, crews found a vacant two-story commercial structure with fire on the first floor and heavy smoke throughout the building. Fire crews entered the building from the east side to begin extinguishing the fire.
“Our personnel were making progress on extinguishing the fire at the north end of the building when conditions deteriorated and the fire rapidly grew on the second floor of the building towards the south end,” Mayberry said. “Crews then evacuated the structure and continued attempts to extinguish the fire from the exterior”
Mayberry said after extinguishing the bulk of the fire from the exterior, fire crews reentered the structure at approximately 6:30 in the morning to extinguish multiple hot spots throughout the building. The fire was under control at approximately 7 a.m.
Winfield Fire/EMS crews remain on scene monitoring for any hot spots. Ark City Fire/EMS, Burden Fire, and Udall Fire responded via automatic aid for assistance.
Winfield Police Department and City of Winfield Public Utilities crews assisted at the scene as well.
Mayberry said one aerial, four engines, and two command vehicles with a total of 15 firefighters were on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(Photos courtesy Winfield Fire/EMS)