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April 21 07:47 AM
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Fire is arson


Reward offered to nab suspect


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A State Police fire investigator has ruled that the fire that destroyed this home was deliberately set. photo by Tom Wearing.

May 06, 2009
IMLAY CITY — An early morning fire Wednesday at a vacant house at 312 E. Borland Rd. has been determined to be a case of arson.

As a result, a reward of up to $5,000 has been posted for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the perpetrator(s).

Fire Chief Kip Reaves reported that Imlay City Officer Kevin Homer noticed smoke coming from the residence at around 12:12 a.m. and immediately contacted Central Dispatch.

By the time firefighters arrived, flames were already breaching the home's roof area, said Reaves, who described the structure as a "total loss."

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On Thursday, a Michigan State Police Fire Investigator visited the scene and ruled that the fire had been "incendiary" and deliberately set, constituting arson.

As a result, state and local police continue to investigate the incident, hoping to find those responsible.

"Evidence has been collected," said Reaves, "and along with (Michigan) State Police, the Imlay City Police Department is involved in finding the suspect(s)."

Anyone having information is asked to contact the county's anonymous Arson Tip Line at 800-441-7766 or call the Imlay City Police Dept. at 810-724-2345.

Reaves said firefighters from Imlay City and Attica Twp. fought the blaze for about four hours, but could not save the one-and-a-half-story structure.

"Due to the balloon construction (no fire stops in older-type buildings), the fire quickly went from the basement area to the roof," he said.

About 30 firefighters responded to the the scene, as did Imlay City police and Lapeer County EMS personnel, Reaves noted.

"Officer (Kevin) Homer's attention to detail on patrol helped gave the fire departments an edge over a fire that could have been much worse had it gotten bigger before being noticed," said Reaves. "The house next door was never in danger. That was a plus because firefighters didn't have to worry about radiant heat damaging other buildings."

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