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Fire at former athletic center intentionally set

March 16, 2009

RAWLINGS, Md. (AP) -- Fire investigators say someone intentionally set the blaze that caused an estimated half-million dollars worth of damage to a former athletic center building in the Western Maryland community of Rawlings.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said Monday that the fire early Sunday at the former Rawlings Athletic Complex started in several places.

The complex was purchased in 2006 for 748,000 by Vincent Groh, a Washington County property owner.

The complex is about 10 miles south of Cumberland, Md., and was built in 1978 and included an outdoor pool, athletic fields and indoor tennis courts.

It took about 100 firefighters nearly 90 minutes to control the blaze.

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