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UPDATE: Downtown Macon fire ruled arson

Macon-Bibb County fire officials are calling a suspicious blaze that destroyed a vacant house early today arson.

Investigator Ben Gleaton said someone set fire to several locations inside of 425 Ell St., where there was no working electricity or gas.

At about 5 a.m., crews responded to a report of heavy smoke near Whitehead Street and Houston Avenue and discovered the building ablaze, said Capt. Nathaniel Hall.

The house was fully involved in flames when fire crews arrived and it took them about 45 minutes to put out the fire, Hall said.

“We had multiple points of fire inside the house,” Gleaton said, “the bedroom area, a closet and in the main body. The cause of the fire is somebody set the structure on fire.”

Gleaton said samples of keys areas were taken for testing to determine if a fire accelerant was used to set the blaze.

There are no suspects in the incident.

“The neighbors didn’t see anything or hear anything,” Gleaton said.

The fire remains under investigation, he said, but it is not being investigated in connection with other recent suspicious fires.

“Nothing stands out as being identical,” he said. “One of those vacant homes, you know.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department at (478) 751-2370 or the Macon Police Department at (478) 751-7500.

Staff writer Liz Fabian contributed information to this report.

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