- Associated Press - Monday, November 3, 2014

SHERWOOD, Ark. (AP) - Sherwood authorities are investigating a weekend fire at the historic Roundtop Filling Station, built in 1936 and known for its inverted-cone-shaped roof.

Sherwood police spokesman Lt. Jamie Michaels told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1GeVvqq ) that firefighters quickly put out the blaze early Sunday. No one was hurt.

The fire charred the building’s exterior, and Darrell Brown, chairman of Sherwood’s History and Heritage Committee, said police “don’t believe it was an accident.”

The former filling station, located just off Arkansas 161, was undergoing a two-year renovation project to transform it into the police department’s Southside Substation, Brown said. Restoration work on the site will be delayed for several weeks. The first official public tour of the site is set for Friday, but Brown said he was unsure if it would be held as scheduled.

“This just couldn’t come at a worse time for us,” Brown said. “We were so excited to show it off to the public. We were scrambling to get it done for the tour, the first time the public could come get inside.”

Brown said customized windows and doors will have to be replaced and repainted.

The 78-year-old building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The History and Heritage Committee took on the restoration project to update the building, including repairs to its roof, replacing the structure’s concrete foundation and plumbing, and changing the light fixtures, windows and doors.

The estimated cost of restoration work is $192,000, most of it funded by two Arkansas Historic Preservation Program grants and contributions from Sherwood and the Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve worked so hard to save it and restore it, and for something like this to happen, it’s very heartbreaking for so many people,” Brown said. “It’s just very sad.”


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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