PROSPECT — Officials have determined that the fire that ripped through the building at 14 Waterbury Road Tuesday morning was set intentionally.
The fire was reported at about 5 a.m. by Mayor Robert Chatfield, who was across the street at Dunkin Donuts. Volunteer firefighters from Prospect and Bethany rushed to the scene and set up a ground attack; members of the career Waterbury Fire Department used an aerial ladder to shoot water down on the flames.
Firefighters extinguished the flames in about 45 minutes. The building, which housed MTM Masonry and Chimney and Golden Wok, was empty when the fire broke out and nobody was injured, Chatfield said.
Local officials and fire marshals from the state Department of Public Safety were at the scene investigating into the evening. Prospect Fire Marshal Keith Griffin said Wednesday afternoon that all accidental causes were ruled out. He said the cause was determined to be arson.
The Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Squad brought in an accelerant sniffing dog Tuesday as part of the investigation. Griffin said the dog detected an accelerant in two spots inside the office of MTM Masonry and Chimney, which is the part of the building that suffered the most damage.
Griffin said an analysis is currently being done to determine what accelerant was used. The arson case is being investigated by state police out of Troop I in Bethany, he said.
Anyone with information on the fire can call the Arson Hot Line at 1-800-842-7766. Griffin said people can receive an award of up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in an arson case.
Griffin said the building, which is owned by Rich Pavlik, is a total loss and will have to be demolished.
The 1,900-square-foot building has been in the Pavlik family for about 30 years, Pavlik said.
Pavlik said he is concerned for the owners of Golden Wok, which has operated at the location for about 10 years, and MTM Chimney Cleaning and Masonry, which has been in the building for about two years.
“I feel very bad for both of them,” he said. “They are hardworking guys and it’s an unfortunate situation for them.”
The Republican-American contributed to this article.