A suspect was taken into custody following an investigation into a fire at 807 Paris Ave., Thursday evening, but Hannibal police have yet to release the suspect’s name.
The Hannibal Fire Department has released the state fire marshall’s report that the fire was incendiary in nature.
Ben Baehr, who lives two houses away from the fire scene, said that when firefighters arrived at the scene a little after 8 p.m., flames were shooting out the back of the house, up to the roofline.
Jeff Shinn told the Courier-Post at the scene that two people typically stay in the house, which is a property of Shinn Residential Center.
Baehr said that one of the residents is known in the neighborhood as “Old Man Kenny.”
“He would sit on our porch and smoke cigarette butts,” Baehr said. The Shinns own a half dozen or more houses in the immediate area of the fire, according to Baehr. The residents of the homes are well mannered and friendly, he added, but there is a lot of commotion in the neighborhood, including vehicles driving too fast in the 25-mph zone, fighting and yelling. Baehr took photos of the scene while firefighters were battling the flames. Those photos are in a photo gallery at Hannibal.net.
During the course of fighting the fire, off-duty firemen were called in as back up in the event of another emergency. The Board of Public Works was called in to disconnect power to the building. It was necessary for firefighter to cut a hole in the roof of the house to battle flames in the attic. Rumors existed at the scene regarding the cause of the fire.
The fire department reports that there was one civilian injury involving minor burns.