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Woodbine fire may have been arson

Des Moines, IOWA — The State Fire Marshal Division, along with the Woodbine Police Department, has been investigating the cause for the fire that occurred on Thursday, September 26, 2013, to Ellen’s Flower Shop located at 413 Walker Street, Woodbine, Iowa. The fire was reported at approximately 3:29 p.m. The fire completely destroyed the building housing the flower shop and caused structural damage to an adjoining building to the north and water and smoke damage to two or three other buildings located along Walker Street.

The investigation has revealed that the fire may have been intentionally set to the west wall of the flower shop adjacent to the alley that runs north and south behind the building. The exact manner of how the fire was set is being withheld to preserve the ongoing investigation. Information has been obtained that indicates a white male subject was in the alley approximately two minutes prior to the first smoke being observed.

Investigators are requesting the public’s help with the investigation. Anyone who was around the south end of the alley near the flower shop at approximately 3:25 p.m., who may have observed someone walking out of the valley, is asked to contact investigators. Witnesses may contact the Iowa State Fire Marshal Division at 712-308-3977, the Arson Hotline at 800-532-1459, or the Woodbine Police Department at 712-647-2345.

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