arson

Fire truck
The Camerons

Columbia authorities say arson is suspected in two fires that have broken out amid a rash of vandalisms, burglaries and staff harassment at several churches.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Two years after Muslims in Joplin suffered the traumatic loss of their place of worship at the hands of an arsonist, a new $2 million mosque is now open.

Forest Fire
E Gregory / Flickr

State conservation officials suspect arson in about 20 wildfires near the Truman Reservoir in west-central Missouri in the past week.

The Department of Conservation says the fires burned more than 1,000 acres of public and private land. No injuries or structural losses have been reported, but officials say wildfires can cause significant harm and that fighting them costs money and puts people at risk.

The conservation agency says crews have fought about 50 fires this year in Henry and St. Clair counties that have burned about 3,000 acres.

Null Value / Flickr

Authorities have identified the two Park Hills volunteer firefighters charged with a string of arsons in St. Francois County.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

More than one year after the Islamic Society of Joplin was burned to the ground, an arrested man has confessed to setting the fire.

“The arrest will not bring the mosque back, but at least it will stop him from doing things like this again,” said Lahmuddin Lahmuddin, the mosques imam, on hearing the news.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

On the anniversary of the suspicious fire that destroyed a mosque in Joplin, mosque officials say they are making progress in plans to rebuild.

The Islamic Society of Joplin Mosque was destroyed by fire last Aug. 6. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The mosque was damaged by another fire on July 4 of last year. That blaze has been ruled an arson.

The mosque will be rebuilt inside city limits. Navid Zaidi, a mosque board member, says no rebuilding will start until the fundraising is complete.

Chris Yunker / Flickr

A federal judge says he will allow a man convicted of setting fires in the University of Missouri's Ellis Library and in a Stephens College building to represent himself during sentencing and a possible appeal.

Christopher Kelley says his appointed federal defense attorney was ineffective, but since he says he can't afford a different attorney, he'll have to defend himself. He has been in jail since being convicted in April for setting fires at Stephens College in May 2011 and in MU's Ellis Library that September.

Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that burned about 620 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest.