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W.Va. fire ruled arson

January 01, 2000

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An early morning fire Friday that destroyed one house and damaged another was intentionally set, according to the Martinsburg Fire Department.

Investigators with the fire department and Martinsburg City Police had no suspects as of Friday, said Fire Lt. Steve Canby.

The two-story wooden house at 317 S. Church St. was unoccupied and hadn't been lived in for some time, although furniture and personal belongings were inside, Canby said. The house is owned by Dr. Lee Moore of Martinsburg.

While the fire was incendiary, Canby said he did not know how or where it started.

The house was still standing Friday, but Canby said it was not safe. Damage was estimated at $60,000.

Heat from the fire melted the vinyl siding on the front of the duplex across the street at 318 and 320 S. Church St., Canby said. No damage estimate was available.

The fire also damaged the hood and fender of a Dodge Dakota next to the 317 S. Church St. house, Canby said. The Dakota belonged to someone other than Dr. Moore, he said.

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Some off-duty firefighters were called to help fight the fire, Canby said.

Twenty-five firefighters responded to the 4:51 a.m. fire and had it under control within an hour, he said. The last firefighter left the scene at 8:54 a.m.

Anyone with information about the fire may call the Martinsburg Fire Department at 304-264-2111, Martinsburg City Police at 304-264-2100 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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