House explosion and fire ruled arson

An explosion and fire that destroyed a vacant home in Montgomery early Tuesday morning on July 17, has been ruled as arson by the state fire marshal’s office.


The explosion occurred in the residence located at 104 3rd St. SW, across the street from Most Holy Redeemer Church at 2:15 a.m., and could be heard across town. It blew glass and debris across several blocks. No one was injured.


According to Montgomery Police Chief Lou Sager the fire marshal made the determination on Thursday, July 26. 


The cause of the incident is still an open investigation, Sager said. 


He said Montgomery Sgt. Pete Bulger will now led the investigation into the cause of the explosion and subsequent fire. He added that the local department will be the lead in the investigation but will also work with the state fire marshal’s office. 


Answers will not come quickly, Sager warned, unless a confession emerges.


“Arsons take months and are usually the longest investigations,” he said. “It takes time to put the pieces together because arson is so forensic-heavy. It takes time to get results back from the labs."


The house is owned by Christopher Hale. He did not return comment to the newspaper. According to the, a public government information system, the house was valued at $137,600.


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