Police are asking for the public's assistance after a fire that destroyed a city medical complex Monday morning has been ruled as arson.
"As with any arson investigation, it takes a little time to go through everything, and this was no different," said Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown police department, of the 23 Ivy St. blaze.
"Investigators have been digging through the debris and searching for evidence," he said. "We did conclude that this fire was intentionally set."
Jamestown police and fire personnel take a break during what turned out to be an arson investigation at 23 Ivy St. on Monday. JPD officials are asking for the public’s assistance locating possible suspects.
P-J photos by Eric Tichy
The medical complex housed Krempa Medical Associates, Laser Center of Chautauqua and a podiatric surgeon office. The tenants have been contacted by investigators; no motive has been established.
Police believe a suspect, or suspects, may have been burned and sought medical treatment after setting the fire.
"Based on what we have discovered and seen in the past, we believe someone may have burns on their hands or their clothing," Samuelson said. "It's really important for anyone to call us if they have any information."
Samuelson said hospitals throughout the region have been notified.
City firefighters were alerted around 2:30 a.m. for a structure fire at the complex. Sam Salemme, Jamestown Fire Department battalion chief, immediately ordered a defensive attack on the blaze. Almost two dozen firefighters were brought to the scene, Salemme said.
Jamestown police and the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team sifted through debris Monday and determined the fire was suspicious in nature. State investigators, including a K-9 unit, also were summoned.
"Within the next several days we will be looking into a motive, but right now we are asking the public for help in identifying anyone who may have been involved," Samuelson said.
Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to call Jamestown police at 483-7531 or the department's anonymous tip line at 483-8477.