June 23 2015

Fire, Police Respond to Apparent Attempted Arson at Empty Building 19 1/2

By: Rich Hosford

Members of the Burlington Police and Fire Departments responded to what appears to be a case of attempted arson at the old Building 19 ½ site Monday evening. 

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Patterson said that a little after 6:30 p.m. a caller reported hearing an audible alarm from the empty building. Police responded and when they arrived they saw that a glass pane next to the main entrance to the building had been removed and that two interior doors had been smashed. 

Patterson said that police officers saw smoke in the building and said they could smell what they thought was gasoline. At that point they contacted the fire department which responded to the scene. 

“We went over there and found the building was filled with smoke,” Patterson said. “There was no active fire at the time.” 

Patterson said that after firefighters cleared the smoke they could see that someone had brought gasoline into the building. There was a horseshoe burn pattern in the floor. 

It wasn’t likely the fire would have spread, Patterson said, because the floor was concrete and except for a few construction materials the building is mostly empty. 

The current caretaker of the building arrived and secured the property, including boarding up the broken windows. 

The State Fire Marshal was also called to investigate the possible arson. At this time that office and the Burlington Police Department are looking into the incident. 

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