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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2007
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2 apartment complex fires in Decatur result of arson

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

Fire Marshal Darwin Clark released updates Thursday on investigations into six fires in the Decatur area.

Clark ruled two fires at apartment complexes were the result of arson.

It appears someone intentionally set fire to a sofa in a living room at 1807 Windover Place S.W. on Nov. 3, Clark said.

Apartment C suffered moderate heat and smoke damage but little structural damage, Clark said.

"The fire department is following up on a suspect lead on that," Clark said.

An Oct. 13 blaze at Vieux Carre Apartments, 3526 U.S. 31 S., was also arson. Someone set fire to the office door, Clark said.

"I just now got my lab report back, and my samples came back positive for (gasoline). I had already ruled that as arson activity, but they did a little more than set some paper on fire. They had a rag soaked with gas," he said.

A fire at Alta Vista Apartments, which displaced residents in eight apartments Wednesday, began with a stove, Clark said. The fire originated in the kitchen of Apartment 29, which suffered heavy fire damage.

"Apparently there was something left on the stove, and the fire spread to the cabinets in the kitchen and ignited the apartment," he said.

Flash Cash fire

Clark said a fire a Decatur police officer discovered in the office of Flash Cash, 1402 Sixth Ave. S.E., early Feb. 3 remains under investigation.

"It appears to be electrical, but we did take samples to rule out arson," he said.

The samples are still undergoing testing.

A chimney fire that rekindled and burned down a house at 316 Robin Road S.W. on Friday night is still under review, but Clark does not consider the blaze suspicious.

A fire in the flue connected to a wood-burning stove apparently spread into the attic after firefighters put the original fire out, said Clark, who continues to examine the chimney flue in an effort to determine how the fire spread.

Another fire at 408 7th Ave. S.W. on Feb. 9 has been determined an electrical fire, he said.

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