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Marshal rules vacant Jeannette house fire arson

| Monday, June 11, 2012, 1:37 a.m.

A fire at a vacant house in Jeannette Thursday night has been ruled an arson.

Joe Matijevic, city fire captain, said the fire was discovered shortly after 9:15 p.m. at 118 N. First St.

"The initial investigation by the state police fire marshal determined it was an arson," Matijevic said. "Someone kicked the basement door in. The fire started at the base of the basement steps."

Matijevic said there was no trace of an accelerant. The house, owned by Scott Copper, was being used for storage and there were items that could have been set ablaze with a match, he said.

There were no injuries, he said. Firefighters remained on the scene for about two hours.

Matijevic said the two-story house was heavily damaged, but repairable. However, the owners did not have insurance.

"The basement steps were burned through," Matijevic said. "We were able to go up the first-floor steps, but they were burned out a good bit."

Matijevic said the matter has been turned over to the Jeannette police for further investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 724-527-4013 or the fire department at 724-527-4021.

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