Brockton fire may have been intentionally set
BROCKTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A morning fire in Brockton tore through a vacant building Monday.
Investigators are now trying to figure out if the fire is linked to a number of arson attacks up and down the south shore.
It was a fast moving fire in cold temperatures on a dead end street in the middle of the night.
“It was horrible. I was just praying no one was in there,” said a witness.
There is a $5,000 reward being offered for information leading to the apprehension of whoever set the fire.
The fire chief got there shortly after first responders at 4 a.m. and struck a 3rd alarm when he found his guys had retreated from the inside of the structure with heavy fire showing from the roof at the back of the building.
“It was very icy, very slippery. That’s why we brought in especially too, the extra manpower,” said Chief Richard Francis, Brockton fire chief.
City records show the building is nearly 125 years old. No one had been living there and the property had been the subject of a foreclosure.
Since November investigators from the state fire marshal's office have been very busy and they were back here again this morning looking for clues; any type of evidence in the charred remains of this building.
“They brought dogs in. They’re doing a standard investigation, especially with all of the things going on, on the South Shore,” said Chief Francis.
The fire marshal has been probing a string of at least a dozen arson fires or suspected arson fires in southeastern Massachusetts, most set early in the morning in unoccupied buildings.
A few days after Thanksgiving, someone set two buildings ablaze just hours apart in Plymouth and then in Halifax. On Dec. 20, six boats burned at a Marshfield marina under suspicious circumstances. Three were destroyed.
“Hopefully they’ll catch whoever has been doing this, like I say, right now we’ don’t know if it’s related to any of the other fires or not,” said Chief Francis.
Brockton’s fire chief said there have been no other suspicious fires in the city recently.