Official Says Attorney's Office Fire Set

The fire that burned through the Sheridan County Attorney's offices earlier this week was started, intentionally.

Sheridan Fire Chief Terry Lenhardt said investigators at the scene have confirmed the cause was incendiary. What that means, he said, was that the blaze did not start by accident.

Fire and police investigators began processing the fire scene immediately after Wednesday's early morning blaze. The fire chief said they were joined Thursday by a contingent of federal agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Samples have been taken from the building on Brooks Street and have been sent to laboratories for testing, including federal labs.

The fire chief said the origin of the fire has still not been determined.

He said the type of incendiary used also cannot be identified until after lab tests are completed. The next step for fire personnel, he said, will be to finalize their reports. Asked if the fire has now been upgraded to arson – as authorities have speculated – the fire chief said “arson” is a term used on the criminal side of an investigation. We hope to have that follow-up later today after talking with Police Sgt. Travis Koltiska, who is the lead investigator on the case.

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