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Authorities investigate arson

Lawton_Lawton firefighters are saying an early Thursday morning fire was arson.  Firefighters arrived on the scene and put out the blaze in about half an hour.  They say most of the damage was contained to one room near the front of the house.  They say the house is unoccupied which has led them to suspect arson, and burn marks in the carpet are in a pattern that would indicate some sort of ignitable fluid had been poured on it.

The fire marshal says it wasn't just one fire, but several fires, that were set inside the house.  Luckily, no one lives there, so no one was hurt.  Now, investigators are trying to determine who started it. 

Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Wright says the house isn't a total loss, but estimated fire damage is $9,000.  "The majority of the fire damage is in the east converted garage area," he says.  "That fire was able to burn, consume some of the products that were in there and caused the most damage."  

He says the house can be lived in again.  "The structural integrity of the residence is intact - [it] caused some sheet rock and some carpeting damage but the dimensional lumber is all intact."  But, a crime has been committed, and now they are looking for the culprit.  "Right now we're early in the investigation, and we are developing some suspects," says Wright.

When the arsonist is caught, he or she faces charges of second degree arson, which carries a fine of up to $20,000 and 25 years in prison.

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