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6/12/2013 2:16:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Arson suspected in animal shelter fire
PINKSTAFF - The Illinois Fire Marshal's office and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department are investigating a Tuesday morning fire which gutted the county's animal shelter.

Authorities suspect arson, believing the fire was intentional because all of the animals had been freed from their cages before firefighters arrived on the scene.

Firefighters responded to the call about 5:30 a.m. with four units of the Lawrence-Allison Fire Protection District and the Bridgeport Fire Protection district responding.

No animals were lost and most of the dogs and cats inside the shelter have been accounted for, officials said.

Reportedly, investigators have stated they believe someone set the fire, which began in the office, to cover their tracks regarding breaking into the building, which is located east of Pinkstaff.

A fire report indicates that damage is estimated at $5,000. A metal shell is about all that is left of the building, according to reports.

Lawrence County Animal Control officer Mark Chamness said the county control office is looking to make arrangements to take care of the county strays.

The Lawrence County board will ultimately make a decision on how to proceed. Conducting a new building could take several months.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department or Illinois Fire Marshal's office.



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