(Photo’s by Pat Hodges)
Centralia Fire Chief John Lynch says an arson investigation is underway to the cause of a fire that destroyed a home at 708 South Pine Thursday morning.
Lynch says the home rented by Krista Colliver was heavily involved in fire upon their arrival. Initial reports indicated there were five people still in the home, so Lynch immediately called in all available off duty Centralia fire fighters, the Centralia Fire Protection District and Sandoval Firemen.
Firemen later learned the occupants had been away from the home since Wednesday.
Lynch says a burglary apparently occurred at the home before it was set on fire in several locations. He reports a gun safe had been pried open and weapons taken. Some musical instruments and other items were also missing. Some of the stolen items were found in an alley several blocks away.
When the suspicious nature of the fire became apparent, Centralia Police and the State Fire Marshal’s office were called to join the investigation. Lynch says interviews are being conducted and he hopes they are able to solve the crime.
There were no injuries. However, some of the family pets perished in the fire, while others were able to get out of the home.
The fire alarm came in at 7:51 Thursday morning with firemen on the scene for about four hours.