Fire destroys downtown Sedalia businesses

A fire destroyed a historic building in downtown Sedalia Friday.

Firefighters responded to the 200 block of South Ohio Avenue just after 6 a.m. Friday and found two businesses engulfed in flames.

Investigators said no one was hurt and there is no evidence of foul play.

Investigators believe the fire started at Sedaliaâ??s Honey Hole Thrift Shop and spread next door to a business called A Touch of Whimsey. The owners of those two businesses just moved to this location several months ago. Business owner Kathy Evans said her husband had just hung up this new sign on Tuesday.

Evans said, â??I had just moved to this location on October 29. I was in another shop around the corner. We decided to move over here. We had just fixed things up.â??

Firefighters fought hot spots throughout the day. Emergency crews used a wrecking ball to knock down the building before it collapsed. Investigators said they are lucky no one was hurt.

Sedalia Fire Department Deputy Chief Greg Harrell said, â??There are a lot of buildings downtown that have second floor lofts and apartments. Fortunately, neither one of these buildings had any. We didnâ??t have a rescue situation.â??

The Downtown Sedalia buildings are more than 100 years old. People in Sedalia said they not only lost some businesses, they lost a part of their history.

Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn said the fire was heart breaking.

Horn said, â??Weâ??ve been here for 152 years. It is very disheartening when you lose that important piece of your history. Itâ??s what you are known for. We feel that loss greatly here.â??

The fire shut down parts of South Ohio Avenue for most of the day.

Fire investigators have not determined a cause for the fire or the amount of damage.