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Arson ruled out in Atchison business fire probe

(KAIR)--Arson is ruled out as the cause of Tuesday- fire in Atchison- downtown business district, which left damage in its wake.

According to a release from Atchison Fire Chief Patrick Weishaar, the department- “fire investigator along with assistance from Atchison Police detectives have determined the cause of Tuesday- fire to be incendiary but with no intent of arson,” adding that “no charges will be filed as the affected business owners work to restore their shops to be re-open.”

The fire began during the noon hour Tuesday in the loading dock area of the Atchison Furniture Company, located at 501 Commercial Street, and spread into the store, with the affects spreading to other nearby businesses.
According to Weishaar, “the amount of damage, mostly caused by smoke, is still being estimated by the affected businesses who continue to work with their insurance providers.”

The preliminary investigation indicated that the furniture store, as well as two adjacent business buildings, Hilligoss Shoes and Eddie- Five & Dime, had incurred heavy smoke damage. However, Weishaar, on Thursday, said investigators “have also learned that the smoke and odor has affected more than the three businesses originally listed. Other occupancies on the south side of the 500 block of Commercial, to the east of the fire, have reported that they were unable to occupy their locations due to the odor that was a result of the fire and will require cleaning and deodorization.”

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