Authorities are investigating after fire badly damaged the police station, city hall and the former mayor’s house in the small southeast Missouri town of Parma, soon after the new mayor and a council member were sworn into office.

The fires happened Tuesday night in Parma, a town of 700 people. New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens told KFVS-TV that firefighters were sent first to former Mayor Tyus Byrd’s home around midnight and then realized that the police station and city hall also were on fire.

Byrd’s home was destroyed. Officials haven’t said if the two city buildings are salvageable.

The state fire marshal and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are investigating. Arson is suspected.

Byrd was defeated in her re-election bid on April 2 by Rufus Lee Williamson Jr.

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