PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Firefighters in Petersburg worked well into Tuesday morning to put out an overnight blaze that officials say was arson.
"We ruled out electrical, we ruled out natural causes, we ruled out accidental, the house wouldn't start a fire on it's own," explained Assistant Fire Marshal Marlow Jones. "It didn't set itself on fire."
The fire broke out about 11:30 p.m. Monday at a home on Washington Street. Fire crews were on the scene for several hours to fight the flames that ultimately destroyed the home.
Jones says a fire so massive was most likely not started without some form of an accelerant.
"With the roof collapsing like it did, down into the basement, we would not even attempt to go inside," said Jones.
The home has been vacant for about five years, but has stood in the neighborhood for more than 100 years.
"It really saddens me that we're losing such a great property," said neighbor Michael O'Neal. "We'll never see this house again--and again a part of history is gone."
O'Neal says this fire is not far from where the historic High Street lofts burned down in January.
Police have not released any information about any suspects, but they are offering a reward for information that might lead to an arrest.
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