Arson ruled as cause of Vine Avenue fire

Last week’s three-alarm fire that extensively damaged a three-unit apartment building at 1246 Vine Ave. has been ruled as arson, according to Assistant Fire Chief Mark Killian.

A man and a woman, along with a 1-year-old child, safely fled the burning building when smoke alarms in the two-and-a-half story structure were activated by the dense smoke just before 11 p.m. Thursday.

The fire burned out of control for nearly an hour and caused an estimated $75,000.

Someone set a fire to a front porch on the west side of the building, investigators said.

When firefighters arrived, the entire porch was ablaze.

Three adults and a child were left homeless by the fire. Numerous volunteer fire companies assisted in putting out the fire. One firefighter was injured and treated at the scene.

The building is owned by Alpha Student Housing, which has an office across the street from the fire scene. Radiant heat from the fire melted the siding of another Alpha property, but this structure was vacant.

City police now are leading the investigation after the fire was ruled incendiary.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Arson Hotline at 570-327-7575.