Springfield (OR) Police Suspect Arson in Late-Night Fire

Louis Krauss

The Register-Guard

(MCT)

Springfield police are investigating a fire that damaged a business in a Centennial Plaza strip mall Sunday night as an arson case.

Firefighters responded to the Centennial Plaza on West Centennial Boulevard a little after 11:30 p.m., and arrived to find the overhang on fire, with burn marks on the building’s exterior and smoke filling the inside, according to a fire department news release.

The police investigation found that a flammable liquid was poured on the outside of Day Spa, according to Eugene Springfield Fire Battalion Chief Mike Caven.

One person was inside the spa, who was evacuated and uninjured.

The man who called in the fire was working on a washing machine in a nearby laundromat when he smelled smoke and went outside to find a fire on the sidewalk in front of the spa, Springfield police spokesman Kris Seibel said in a news release.

The witness said he thought the fire was started with “something very flammable,” according to Seibel, but he didn’t see anyone else outside.

The witness grabbed water and put out the fire on the concrete, but then felt “intense” heat coming from the wall and realized it was on fire and began spreading, Seibel said. The man then called 911.

A battalion chief noted the fire was deemed suspicious because there wasn’t an obvious heat source in the spa or outside where a fire could have started accidentally.

Springfield detectives are looking for surveillance video, trying to establish leads and are requesting those with information to call 541-726-3721.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

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