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Shake Shoppe fire called arson

Investigator’s are calling it arson.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

Investigator’s are calling it arson.

The fire that gutted the Shake Shoppe at 2424 S. Third St. Thursday is being listed as a deliberate act, according to Ironton Fire Department Lt. Mike Mahlmeister. The investigation into how the fire was started – and why – continues.

The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

State Fire Marshal’s Office public information officer, Sally Wagner, said anyone who has information may call 1-800-589-2728.

"Anyone who drives by the site can see our signs," she said.

The fire broke out shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday morning, and did extensive damage to the equipment inside. The outside did not sustain as much damage as the inside, Ironton fire chief Tom Runyon said yesterday "the joists and framework are still there."

Calls this morning to Runyon and the shop’s owner, Gary Castle, were not returned before presstime.