Investigators suspect arson in Belleville apartment fire

Firefighters at the scene of the blaze Wednesday night
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze Wednesday night

Investigators believe the apartment fire on Wednesday night was intentional, Fire Chief Tom Pour said Thursday.

The fire started in a bedroom closet in a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of the Plaza Apartments at 204 N. 46th St.

“They eliminated all accidental causes,” Pour said of the investigators.

He said there were no electrical outlets or devices in the closet that could have caused an accidental fire.

Samples taken from the closet have been sent to the state crime lab to determine if some kind of fuel was used to start the fire, according to Pour.

No one was home or injured in the blaze, Pour said. Neighbors who saw smoke coming from the building were able to alert tenants.

Firefighters arrived at 7:12 p.m. and had the fire controlled by 7:30 p.m. Pour said five units were damaged by either fire or water, and residents were not allowed to return to those apartments. Residents in other sections of the building were permitted to return to their homes.

Belleville fire and police departments are still investigating.

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