Albert Lea duplex fire believed to be arson

Published 9:22am Monday, November 5, 2012

ALBERT LEA — A fire reported Tuesday on the stairs of a duplex on Bridge Avenue in Albert Lea is believed to be the result of arson, according to officials.

Albert Lea Fire Department investigator Doug Johnson said the fire is under investigation and there are no suspects.

Albert Lea firefighters responded to the duplex, 903 1/2 Bridge Ave., at 10:13 p.m. Tuesday.

Property owner Bob Ackland said a fire was started at both the bottom and top of the stairs, and a portion of the vinyl siding, trim, door and downstairs window were damaged. Damage was estimated at about $3,000.

Ackland heard about the fire at about 10:20 p.m. from a tenant in a neighboring property.

He sent his son over to the duplex that night, and Ackland went there Wednesday morning to assess the damage. He said the smell of gasoline lingered and fire officials are testing some of the debris.

Ackland said he thinks the fire was started by someone who was mad with the tenant in the upper apartment.

“They’re going to find the guy who did it, that’s pretty sure,” Ackland said.

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