Arson blamed in early morning commercial fire

By Mark Bowder, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 
7635 MacArthur Blvd.

An arson fire did $30,000 to a vacant store on MacArthur Boulevard early Saturday morning, according to the Vancouver Fire Department

The fire was reported about 2:30 a.m. in the Paulsons Shopping Center, 7635 MacArthur Blvd., and firefighters were presented with a complication when they arrived on scene, said VFD Capt. Kevin Murray.

Murray said the fire was concentrated around a natural gas meter on the south side of a vacant thrift store, which meant putting out the fire without shutting off the gas flow would have resulted in a major gas leak.

Firefighters sprayed water to cool the walls of the building until the gas could be shut off, then extinguished the blaze.

The Vancouver Fire Marshal determined the fire had been intentionally set, Murray said. In addition to damage to the vacant store, there was some smoke in nearby businesses.

Murray said anyone with information is asked to email the fire marshal at vanfmo@ci.vancouver.wa.us.