Arson fire guts building in downtown Springfield

07/10/08 6:34AM

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a five-alarm fire in Springfield that has gutted a downtown building.

The blaze broke out about 11 p.m. Tuesday night in the Ellis Block, which houses apartments and the Springfield Movie Theater that last summer hosted the premiere of "The Simpsons" movie.

Authorities say the fire was arson. An 18-year-old Springfield man has been taken into custody and will be arraigned today on charges of first degree arson.

Town Manager Robert Forguites says the theater appears to have escaped serious damage, but a section of Main Street was closed yesterday as firefighters continued dousing hot spots.

An unidentified firefighter sustained a minor injury, but the building's tenants escaped safely.


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