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August house fire ruled an arson

By The Mercury

Investigators have ruled an August 22 house fire to be an arson.

Manhattan Fire Department fire marshal Rick Stillwagon said Tuesday the fire that day at a single family unit at 721 Osage St. started on the front porch and primarily damaged it along with the house’s exterior.

He said there were three people inside the house when the fire was set, but they evacuated before firefighters arrived. No one was injured.

Stillwagon said investigators ruled out accidental causes of the fire and determined it was set purposely.

But because of the ongoing investigation, he said he couldn’t say what started it.

He declined to say whether any of the three occupants saw someone set fire to the house and he said investigators haven’t determined a motive.

The estimated loss was $50,000.

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