Jackson, Mississippi Animal Hospital Fire May Have Been Deliberately Set, Police Say

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- A fire that nearly destroyed part of an animal hospital may have been the work of an arsonist, investigators say.

No animals were killed or injured in the blaze. The fire occurred about 6 p.m. Sunday at the Briarwood Animal Hospital. About 30 animals had to be moved to other areas of the facility.

The cause of fire hasn't been determined, said Vernon Hughes of the Jackson Fire Department.

Investigators believe the fire was deliberately set because of debris found next to the building, said Fire Department Capt. R.D. Simpson.

``The fire was set on the outside,'' Simpson said. ``There was a stack of stuff on the side that was burned. The fire didn't start in the structure.''

Clinic workers spent Monday cleaning up the damage.

The clinic was housing about 125 animals at the time of the fire.

Dr. Leon Dale, a veterinarian at the animal hospital, said the damage could have been ``much worse.'' ``We could've lost everything,'' Dale said.