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Jamestown firefighters are pictured Sunday afternoon on Water Street after fire broke out in the basement of a two-and-a-half story property. The fire was found to have been intentionally set.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy

A vacant Jamestown property ordered for demolition more than a year ago was again the site of a fire later ruled by investigators to have been intentionally set.

No one was injured after smoke was spotted around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday coming from the basement windows of 130 Water St., a vacant two-and-a-half story property that had been boarded up and unoccupied since at least February 2019 when it was officially condemned. Upon arrival, crews found heavy, black smoke coming from the windows on the first and second floors.

The fire, which originated in the basement, was out in about 20 minutes, Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Coon said Monday. Firefighters remained on scene for about two-and-a-half hours checking for extension.

Jamestown police, Alstar EMS, the city Department of Development and Department of Public Works also responded to the scene.

Following an investigation, the fire was ruled incendiary, Coon said.

He noted that firefighters were called to the same property the evening of March 15 of this year; fire was found in the basement, and an investigation determined the blaze had been intentionally set.

A court in December 2019 ordered the condemned property be demolished. According Crystal Surdyk, city director of development, the city has been trying to identify the legal owner to make contact.

“The order to demolish was issued against the owner at the time,” Surdyk said. “The owner then indicated that he sold the property prior to the demo order, though we haven’t yet received confirmation that there was actually a legal transfer of title.”

“We have reached out to both persons involved to sort that out and, in the meantime, our attorney is working on confirmation of legal ownership so we can make sure we are pursuing action against the appropriate person,” she continued.

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