Chief: Massachusetts Fire Caused By Arson

A two-alarm fire that broke out at a triple-decker in Worcester, Mass., was caused by arson, fire officials said Tuesday.

NewsCenter 5's David Boeri reported that the fire started at about 11:45 a.m. at 4 Arlington St.

Worcester Fire Department Chief Frank Diliddo said that officials determined that the fire was caused by arson after questioning some neighbors. The building owner was being questioned by police, officials said.

"Before companies arrived on scene, they were receiving reports of heavy fire and smoke. The first companies on the scene encountered heavy fire from the first floor right up to the third floor," Diliddo said.

"It had already run the walls and was up into the attic. It was coming out of every window on the first floor," Worcester Fire Department Chief Mike McNamee said.

The residents of the third floor were not home at the time of the fire, and the landlord lives on the first floor, officials said.

"We saw flames shooting out of 4 Arlington St. -- about three feet out the window. We saw the owner shooting out of the driveway. We figured he was going to the fire station to report (the fire)," witness Robert Gleason said.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. One suffered a broken leg, and another hurt his back, officials said. The fire caused the roof of the building to collapse, officials said.

Police issued an all points bulletin for the landlord as firefighters were battling the blaze.

"It's very unusual this time of day. There will be a lot of investigation to see what caused it and what were the factors that caused it to spread so rapidly," Diliddo said.

DiLiddo said that the cold weather made it a tough fire to fight. The blaze damaged two other structures in the area, but the occupants of those buildings did not have be evacuated.

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