SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Sikeston police say illegal fireworks caused a roof fire at the a Lowe's Home Improvement store early Thursday morning.
A passerby called police after seeing smoke on the roof around 2:30 a.m. and firefighters quickly got to the store on South Main and were able to put out the fire.
Sergeant Jon Broom says a fire investigator with Sikeston's Department of Public Safety determined the fire broke out from remnants of mortar shell which landed on the rubber roof of Lowe's.
"He was guessing about two hours is how long that mortar had actually laid on the roof and then began to smolder, build bigger and turn into a fire," Broom said. "Fire doubles in size ever minute so if that person wasn't aware enough to see the smoke and report it we very well could be without a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Sikeston at this point."
The City of Sikeston has a law the prohibits the lighting of any kind of aerial fireworks and Sgt. Broom believes this fire is a perfect example of why they put those laws in place.
"Our utmost concern is people's safest and their property and things like that," he said. "At the very least they could be issued a citation for discharging fireworks within the city limits. On the other end of that scale, if we can prove there was criminal intent to cause damage to Lowe's, which we don't believe. We believe it was a total accident. You obviously could be faced with some severe criminal charges."
Broom says police canvassed a nearby neighborhood where they believe the firework may have been shoot off, but are still searching for the person did it.
Staff with Lowe's say no staff were inside the build at the time and that no injuries have been reported. The store re-opened Thursday morning during it's regular hours.