Fire officials suspect arson was behind the Saturday night fire that destroyed the vacant Young’s Laundry and Cleaners building in downtown Pine Bluff.
Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Chief Shauwn Howell said the fire is still under investigation, but the building had been vacant for more than a year.
“The building was vacant and not under operation, so that makes us think someone intentionally set this fire,” Howell said.
No one was injured in the fire, which caused $75,000 in property damages. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other structures.
“The firefighters did a great job and were safe on the scene,” Howell said. “It was a joint effort by the fire department and the utility companies dealing with the power lines. It’s unfortunate that the situation happened, but we’re all thankful that nobody came out with any injuries.”
Firefighters were dispatched at 10:20 p.m. to the 15,000-square-foot building at 917 S. Main St. and were on the scene about five hours, Howell said, although some of that time included cleaning up glass and other residual harmful objects and substances.
“When we arrived we saw heavy smoke and heavy fire showing from the building,” Howell said.
There is a $2,500 reward for anyone with information about the fire leading to an arrest and a conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call 730-2048.