According to Doug Gochenour of the CFRD a passer- by spotted the blaze and called the CFRD and reported that there was a building on fire.
Upon their arrival,the CFRD found that the Cherokee Police Department was already at the scene.
Gochenour stated that a pickup was inside of the building. At this time ,it is believed that the pickup was on fire, which subsequently ignited the building.
It was later learned that the pickup was apparently stolen and parked at the fairgrounds and it was then believed by officials to have been started on fire.
The building that sustained the damage was the livestock show arena, adjacent to the main arena to the east.
Gochenour estimated the pickup truck was a total loss and damage to the building is estimated to be $40,000 to $45,000.
Both the CPD and the Iowa State Fire Marshall investigated the truck prior to it being taken away for the grounds.
Gochenour described the fire as starting with the pickup truck (which was parked along the west wall of the building) and got to the framing members, then spread to the rafters, causing portions of the roof to collapse.
The Cherokee Police and the Iowa State Fire Marshal are currently investigating this ongoing case.