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Griffith Co. office fire ruled arson

FD Police: Investigation ongoing

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert The A-frame structure of the former Griffith Co. Architects office building still stands after a large fire gutted the inside of the building on Monday night.

A fire that destroyed a former architecture office building on Kenyon Road about two weeks ago was intentionally set, according to fire investigators.

The fire that engulfed the former offices of Griffith Co. Architects at 709 Kenyon Road was ruled an arson, Fort Dodge Fire Department Chief Steve Hergenreter said.

Four investigators from the Fort Dodge Fire Department, along with an insurance investigator, assessed the damage and remains of the structure and determined the blaze had been set on purpose. The exact circumstances of how the fire was set are not being released at this time as it remains an active investigation, Hergenreter said.

The fire started at about 7:20 p.m. on Oct. 12 and was called in by multiple passersby. The blaze quickly engulfed the A-frame building, sending flames shooting as high as 30 feet in the air. It took nearly an hour to get the fire under control, and firefighters remained on scene until about 12:30 a.m. the next morning, putting out the remaining hot spots.

No injuries were reported the night of the fire.

Fort Dodge Police Department Capt. Ryan Gruenberg confirmed that the fire and police departments are continuing to investigate this arson.

Any witnesses or anyone who may have seen something suspicious around the property at 709 Kenyon Road between 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. the evening of Monday, Oct. 12, are asked to contact the police department at 515-573-2323, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 515-573-1444.

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