Pittsfield officials investigate suspected arson on Wendell Avenue

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PITTSFIELD — Investigators believe an early Monday morning fire on Wendell Avenue was intentionally set.

Firefighters responded to 82 Wendell Ave. shortly before 1 a.m. and quickly extinguished a small fire on the porch, according to interim Fire Chief Daniel Garner. The building houses multiple law offices.

Fire personnel "noticed a strong odor of gasoline," he said.

"I guess there's some witnesses that say that someone came off the porch before the fire but they took off on a bicycle," Garner said.

Police said the witnesses observed a man fleeing the scene before heading west on East Housatonic Street. Witnesses described the man as in his mid- to late 20s, wearing dark clothing and a long-sleeved T-shirt, officers said.

Though the incident remains under investigation, Garner said investigators considered the fire attempted arson.

Police asked anyone with information to call the department's Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.

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