Cause of the fire: arson

Published 4:19 pm Friday, February 27, 2009

The cause of the downtown Austin fire that devastated most of the 400 block of Main Street on Jan. 15 has been confirmed as arson.

Fire Chief Dan Wilson made the announcement during a ceremony at the fire hall Friday afternoon in which Sen. Dan Sparks honored firefighters for their service.

Wilson said the fire was “intentionally set” in the front of 406 Main Street, the Mi Tierra clothing store.

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The Mi Tierra grocery store, 400 Main Street, also had a fire last summer. Towels started on fire; no major damage was incurred.

The chief and Deputy State Fire Marshal Steve Wolf posted arson signs on the building following the ceremony.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said Wilson, explaining that he cannot release much information because the investigation is pending.

Wilson said the public’s help is sought in the investigation. If you have any information about the cause of the fire, contact the Minnesota Arson Reward Project at (800) 723-2020. A reward of up to $2,500 will be offered for information leading to identification of the persons responsible for the fire.