Update: Fire in vacant Pittsfield apartment ruled an arson

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PITTSFIELD -- A fire late Wednesday morning inside a vacant two-story, four-unit home at 211-213 Linden St. has been ruled an arson, according to the Pittsfield Fire Department.

After an investigation, a state fire marshal made the determination late Wednesday night. Also, fire officials are advertising up to $5,000 as a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction for the arson. Anyone with information is asked to call 800-682-9229.

Meanwhile, one firefighter received a minor muscle strain while fighting the blaze, according to a fire department news release.

The two-alarm fire began in the basement of the 114-year-old wood frame structure, then spread to the first floor, said Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.

Information on how the arson was carried out was not made immediately available.

No one was inside the building, "not that we know of," Czerwinski said.

"A lot of doors were padlocked on the outside," Czerwinski said.

However, due to the size of the structure, Deputy Chief Mark Cancilla called for a second alarm shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene around 11:50 a.m., Czewinski said.

All 18 city firefighters who were on duty when the blaze was reported responded to the scene. Heavy smoke was coming out of the building when the first firefighters arrived.

The 6,864-square-foot building was built in 1900, according to city records. It is owned by Pittsfield residents James J. and Carrie L. Drake Aldam, according to records in the city assessor's office.


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