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Authorities Rule Ludlow Fire as Arson


LUDLOW, Mass. (WGGB) — The State Fire Marshall told ABC40 they officially determined the cause of Sunday morning’s fire in Ludlow as arson.

Just before 2 A.M. Sunday morning, neighbor Brian Smith saw 17 Lower Whitney St. on fire. “Came out last night around 2 am, the cat was scratching at the door, looked out and the house was engulfed in flames. A neighbor of mine said she heard a window breaking, so she came out. When she came out, she said that the basement was on fire, and she called the cops,” he relayed.

Hot embers even burned a neighbor who lives 3 houses down.

The fire got so intense that Ludlow needed help from 5 other departments; Chicopee, Wilbraham, 3 Rivers, Springfield, and Palmer, in order to prevent it from spreading.

Authorities say the building had been vacant for quite some time, after an electrical fire displaced those who lived in the 6 unit building a year ago.

According to Ludlow Fire Captain John Holl, the building’s electricity and other utilities were already off because it was being prepped for demolition, which makes neighbors nervous about how, exactly, it went up in flames. “You never see stuff like this. It’s pretty much a quiet neighborhood over here. We never see anything like this. It’s suspicious, so it’s kind of odd,” shared Tony Martins. “I’m up late at night so, they don’t want to come to my house,” Smith added.

The home’s owner said off camera that he didn’t have any problems with anyone in the area, and he thinks it might be arson.

Authorities say the town hasn’t had that problem outside of small dumpster fires.

The State Fire Marshall is handling the investigation.

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