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Former Builders Emporium building damaged by fire

arson suspected

April 19, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

Another suspected arson fire in an El Centro commercial building caused $2,000 in damage to the former location of Builders Emporium on Wednesday night.

The El Centro Fire Department responded to the fire at 950 N. Imperial Ave. at 9:40 p.m., said Capt. Wayne Skains.

The sprinkler system had just activated inside the boarded-up building when firefighters arrived, Skains said.

The fire has a suspicious origin and is thought to be arson, Skains said.

The fire began near the store's front door when some particle boards covering the entrance were pried off, Skains said.

Paper was shoved into a hole where the boards were pried off, then the paper was ignited, Skains said.

The fire spread from the paper to the particle board and up to the sprinkler system, Skains said.

The sprinklers did not extinguish the flames and firefighters used 75 gallons of water to douse the fire, Skains said.

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The fire caused about $2,000 in damage to the long-closed facility, Skains said, adding firefighters were on scene for only 20 minutes.

This incident is still under investigation and, as of this morning, investigators had no suspects.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3442.

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