Hundreds of thousands worth of cotton damaged in fire


MARSTON, MO (KFVS) - Fire crews have left the scene of what was the largest fire in the 83 years of business for a cotton gin in Marston, Missouri.

According to the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department, the fire started around 11:30 Sunday night.

Barry Richardson, president of Richardson Gin Incorporation, says the fire started in a cotton module yard where they store cotton modules as they come in from the farmers.  That is where they are stored to be funneled to the gin.

Richardson says 800 bales worth $300,000 to $500,000 were damaged.  He says they were able to salvage 31 bales.

The gin is on the main street in Marston and smoke can be seen throughout town.

Route 61 in New Madrid County is temporarily closed after the fire at Marston Gin Co because of a lack of visibility.

The section of roadway is located from Route 162 at Portageville to Route AD at Marston.

Drivers are urged to use extreme caution while traveling near the area.

At this time there's no word on what started the fire but crews appear to have the fire under control.  Richardson says he believes someone started the fire intentionally.

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