Police say Ag Supply fire was arson
WENATCHEE, Feb 05, 2013 (The Wenatchee World - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Ag Supply's general manager was stunned Tuesday when he saw video of someone setting fire to a hay storage area on the co-op's property.
"I'm just kind of like, 'Wow,' " said Al Sanow. "We don't know of anybody who would be that angry about anything to do something like this."
The video, taken by Ag Supply's surveillance camera, shows a large flash, a sudden fire in the hay barn area of a large storage facility, then a man running through the Ag Supply parking lot, according to Sgt. John Kruse with the Wenatchee Police Department. The suspect is wearing dark clothing and a light-colored hat.
Police are asking anyone with information about the fire to call Detective Edgar Reinfeld at 888-4132.
No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at 1:25 a.m. Tuesday. It was called in by employees at The Buzz Inn, which is across the street from Ag Supply, 1115 N. Wenatchee Ave.
Kruse said police are calling the fire arson.
It started in a lean-to type of area next to Ag Supply's large warehouse. The metal warehouse is not connected to the main building, which was open for business Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Wenatchee Fire Chief Stan Smoke said a breach in the wall between the outdoor hay-storage area and the inside of the warehouse allowed the fire to spread quickly. "That was what really damaged -- and even totaled -- the building," he said.
Smoke said the building was insured. He estimated damage at $250,000, which includes the metal structure and the contents.
"Inside were every kind of pet and animal feed you can think of: rabbit feed, chicken feed, dog feed, deer feed, horse feed, lawn seed and salt blocks," Sanow said. Most were stored in 50-pound bags or blocks.
Ag Supply, according Sanow, began in 1933. The co-op, which has about 800 voting members, also owns Ace Hardware stores in East Wenatchee, Quincy, Ephrata, Brewster and Sultan.
He said he thinks the Wenatchee store will be able to tap resources at those other facilities to meet customers' needs.
Dee Riggs: 664-7147
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