BURLEY, Idaho — The state fire marshal has ruled a blaze that destroyed a vacant downtown building in a southern Idaho town to be arson.
Authorities are investigating the Monday morning fire in Burley and the pipe bomb that was found across the street as one case, The Times-News reported .
The fire likely began in the middle of the building and was lit by using rags and papers, Deputy State Fire Marshal Verl Jarvie said.
“I’ll just say that a person had gone to some effort to make sure the building burned,” Jarvie said.
An accelerant was also used and found throughout the building, Jarvie said. Samples of it have been sent to a lab for testing.
As firefighters were extinguishing the blaze Monday, they found an unexploded bomb in the door handle of a new, unopened restaurant across Overland Avenue from the burning building.
A bomb squad from Twin Falls later detonated the explosive found outside Kassiani Restaurant, Bakery and Events.
The burned building and the restaurant are both owned by Brek Pilling and Brian Tibbets. Pilling did not return the newspaper’s call on Wednesday.
The Cassia County Sheriff’s Office said no arrests have been made.
A pickup truck sought by authorities in the case was found Tuesday. Authorities have not said how the pickup is related to the investigation.
Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell said authorities do not have reason to believe that the public is in danger. He declined to say if authorities have identified a suspect.
“We are looking at all the avenues, and there are a lot of agencies involved,” Warrell said.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation.
Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com