Probation office fire investigated as possible arson

A fire at the state probation and parole office in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center early Tuesday morning is being investigated as an arson, according to a police report.

The report from Officer Sylvester Davis said when he arrived at the building at 7:30 a.m., the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department was already on the scene.

Davis quoted Battalion Chief Scott Moore as saying that when firefighters arrived about 7:15 a.m., they found a hole cut in the roof on the southeast end of the building and smoke coming from it. Once the fire was extinguished, Davis said “there appeared to be four bottles of some kind of accelerant that had been dropped through the hole in the roof to possibly ignite the fire.”

The fire damaged some ceiling tiles in the file room and in the record supervisor’s office, according to the report.

Detective Jerry Lambert took over the investigation at 8:10 a.m., the report said, and estimated damage was listed at $10,000.