Ben Rodgers, Forum Communications, Published November 14 2012
Arson suspected in Jamestown house fireJAMESTOWN, N.D. - Officials believe arson caused a Friday fire that extensively damaged a house here.
The fire at 616 Second Ave. N.W. was reported at 6:49 a.m. The blaze flared up late Friday evening and again early Saturday morning.
“We always treat these fires as arson, but we have evidence collected that points to this as arson,” said Detective Sgt. Tom Nagel, Jamestown Police Department.
Nagel said there is a suspect but no arrest had been made as of Tuesday afternoon. He also said the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
“We have reasons to believe this fire was cooking a good two hours prior to the firemen reporting or before we got the report,” the detective said.
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief, said he did not have the exact toll of damage but estimated it at about $140,000, which includes the home and its contents.
“That structure is very extensively damaged and I think it’s beyond repair myself,” Reuther said.
Reuther, Nagel and Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger will head the investigation.
“I was there when they collected all the evidence and it does indicate it was an intentionally set fire,” Reuther said.
Officials were unable to go inside and inspect the scene because they were unsure of the structure’s integrity, he said.
Three injuries were reported by responding units. One firefighter injured a knee, the other aggravated a previous injury and a police officer slipped on the ice.