FAIRMONT - Arson is suspected in a fire at an abandoned house that occurred late Monday, says Fairmont Fire Chief Doug Borchardt.
He said no one had lived at 512 N. Park St. for several years, and the fact there was no electricity or gas turned on there made the fire suspicious.
"That was an immediate red flag for us," he said.
The State Fire Marshall was contacted, and while specific details are not being released, the cause of the fire has been ruled as arson.
"Our initial firefighters did a good job at preserving the evidence at the scene," Borchardt said. "Our first responders also did a good knockdown on the initial attack."
The house was locked, but it appeared access was gained by a broken window.
A sign with the state's arson hotline has been posted, and a reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for tips leading to those responsible for the fire. Anyone with information may contact law enforcement, or the arson hotline at (800) 723-2020.
"It might seem like fun and games at first," Borchardt said of those who started the fire. "But just because the place is abandoned does not make it OK to set it on fire. It puts other people and properties in jeopardy, and we intend to prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law."