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      Maries County Sheriff suspects someone burned his house down

      Belle Police and state fire marshals are still trying to figure what caused the Maries County Sheriff's house to burn down.

      The cause remains undetermined at this time.

      Sheriff Chris Heitman's home is a total loss.

      Heitman rummaged through what's left of of his house Friday, trying to salvage family keepsakes.

      A KRCG reporter caught up with him Friday to find out where he goes from here.

      Sheriff Chris Heitman's house was in perfect condition last Saturday afternoon when he left to conduct a DWI checkpoint.

      It wasn't too long after that when he got the phone call about his house going up in flames.

      "When I responded up the street to it, you could see the glow and I thought there's everything you ever wanted and ever worked for. It's all gone, Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said.

      Heitman doesn't know for sure, but he suspects that someone burned his house down.

      "There was nothing in my house left on. I could see if it was winter time and I had a spare heater on or the wood stove was going, but there was nothing in my house left on, Heitman said. The investigator did say there are some indications of arson, but do to the extensive damage they cannot determine 100 percent one way or another. I suspect it's arson, and so does several other investigators."

      Heitman told me he lost pretty much everything. He lost his clothing, his daughter's toys, his guns, and even sentimental items that were passed down from generation to generation.

      But he told me the most important thing he lost was the memories in his house.

      "My daughters first footsteps were in this house. But those memories will always be there, Heitman said. Things like the kitchen floor where she walked for the first is not there anymore. The old pictures I had are all gone. The pictures of me and my dad are gone. My dad was a real important person in my life and basically everything he has ever given me is gone."

      Heitman told me now he is just going pick up the things he has left and move on.

      "This doesn't intimidate me we're going to keep working and move on. I'll be at the office Monday, Heitman said. This isn't going to stop me from arresting anyone who breaks the law. Whoever did this I suspect will be brought to justice."

      The Belle Police Department is sponsoring a barbecue fundraiser for Sheriff Heitman on Saturday, June 4th, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the intersection of Third and Alverado Streets.

      There will also be a bake sale Saturday June 4th, at Grace Family Worship Center from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. or until items are sold.