After their hog facility was declared a total loss because of a fire near Mahaska, Kansas, Bruce Livingston is looking to the future, planning to rebuild.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is working in collaboration with the Kansas State Fire Marshal to investigate the cause of the fire. Sheriff Justin Cordry explained that the investigation is ongoing, and that it will take some time to determine exactly how the fire occurred. They are investigating several possibilities, including arson. However, they explained that no theory has been confirmed at this point.
“We don’t have all the details at this point,” said Cordry. “The Fire Marshal’s investigator and my investigator are working together trying to find out what happened. Investigations like this can take awhile. In order to do things accurately and to do them well, we have to take the time to do things the right way.”
Cordry explained that the insurance company for Livingston Enterprises Inc. has offered a substantial reward for information that would lead to a conviction for arson; however, he emphasized that the information has to be credible.
“My understanding is that the Livingston’s private insurance company has offered a reward up to $10,000 for information that results in a conviction for arson,” Cordry said. “I don’t have the exact details, but they’re looking for definitive evidence; they’re not going to pay out for hear say or rumors. It has to be solid information that leads to a conviction.”
If people have information, they are encouraged to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Cordry advised people that if they see any suspicious activity any time, they should not hesitate to contact law enforcement, because it could save lives.
Livingston explained that the total value of the building was roughly $1 million, and that an additional $500,000 in hogs were lost during the fire in the early hours of December 10. He is waiting for the investigation to wrap up, so they can continue moving forward. He emphasized how grateful he was for the support from the community and to for the firefighters coming to get the fire under control.