Update: Maplewood Barn fire cause undetermined

Flames through the view finder of passerby's camera.

Update: Tuesday 2:50 p.m.

Columbia Fire Department said the cause of the fire at the Maplewood Barn Theatre is undetermined.

Investigators were on the scene until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and returned to the scene at 9 a.m. for more investigative work.

Columbia Fire Department is asking anyone with information relating to the fire or anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area of the fire to call CrimeStoppers at (573) 875-TIPS (8477).

Original Story:

Columbia's Maplewood Barn Theater at Nifong Park went up in flames just before 8 p.m. Monday.

A passerby reported the flames. Even though the nearest fire station is just blocks away crews could see the flames before they arrived. They were estimated at 40-feet high. Crews tried to attack the blaze from the air but the roof was already falling.President of the theater's board Michael Scott calls the fire a tragic loss. Historical costumes and props were also stored there. The theater recently made $8,000 in rennovations, has also been the site of recent vandalism.

Fire investigators are still on the scene and do not yet know the cause.

The landmark theater has stood for 150 years and offered summer entertainment for several decades.

The theater's board president calls the fire and destruction a loss for the community.

Maplewood Barn Community Theater President Michael Scott said, "I honestly don't know what to say. This is a tragedy. We will bounce back from this. Our theater has been here for 37 years. We'll stay here in one form or another."

The summer theater was set to start their season in just 6 weeks.