The State Fire Marshal's office is still investigating a fire that resulted in a total loss for a Salem-area business.

The fire, which was reported just before 9 p.m. , Oct. 4 at Royal Oak Charcoal Company, kept firefighters busy until the early morning hours on Oct. 5.

According to Michael O'Connell, communications director for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the incident is still under investigation, and so far, the cause of the fire is still undetermined.

"(This) can often happen when there is a total loss of a structure," he said. "When that happens, it's hard to determine a cause."

Chief Brad Nash of the Dent County Fire Protection District said last week that this was one of the biggest fires in the county's history, as more than half of the building – approximately 1,000 feet long and 200 feet wide – was completely destroyed by the blaze. Dent County Firefighters, assisted by personnel from nine other agencies, worked until about 7 a.m. to extinguish the fire.

No Royal Oak employees were injured, and at least two firefighters sustained minor injuries while trying to bring the fire under control.

The building, which was used to store ready-to-ship products, was not connected to the main office. As of press time, there was no figure as to how much financial loss was incurred.

O'Connell also said that there was no evidence as of yet to assume that similar incidents at charcoal companies are connected to this particular fire.