Madison: "Shocking," says Steve Murphy when he got a call around 3 am telling him his building was on fire. He was even more shocked when investigators told him the cause was arson.
"We were able to determine early on that it is indeed an arson and it is being investigated as such," says Lori Wirth of the Madison Fire Department.
"It's disturbing. It's very disturbing. At this point you have to take time to assess everything. Right now I just want to get everything back up and running. But it's emotional and disturbing," says Murphy.
The fire was set inside the Palace Latin Club, on the second floor of this building on University Avenue. According to the Madison Fire Department a worker in Bob's Copy Shop on the first floor called 911 just after 2 am. "He reported hearing a small explosion and seeing smoke in the building," says Wirth.
The explosion did not cause the fire, but was a result of the arson. "It was a small explosion. This was not a major explosion. It was something that happened in the course of the fire," says Wirth.
The Latin Club was closed at the time of the fire. Wirth says the sprinkler system limited the damage. "The sprinkler system kicked in enabling us to knock that down in pretty sure order."
No one was injured, but the apartments on the other side of the building were evacuated and the businesses suffered water damage.
Clean up has already begun at Bob's Copy Shop. "He should be operational by tomorrow. Things are moving along real good. We have recovery teams in there as well as working on the Korean restaurant and Subway. But the upstairs it's going to take a while," says Murphy.
Damage to the building is estimated at $150,000.