While crews cleaned up after the arson blaze that destroyed his furniture store business, Adriano Miranda sat in the kitchen of a friend’s apartment across the way, holding his head in his hands.
“I’m just waiting and waiting for something,” he said softly, shaking his head.
Hours earlier, Miranda said, he got a call from the alarm company, saying there was a fire at his 733 Main St. business, Globe Furniture.
Now, he and his partner, Marcia Ramos, were sitting in a first-floor apartment, overlooking the side of the business, as contractors secured the building.
“He is so upset,” Ramos said.
The two-alarm blaze reported at 1:17 a.m. on Tuesday was fueled by an accelerant found in “multiple locations” in the building, including the rear stairway, said Fire Lt. Edward Williams, a fire investigator.
Investigators sent samples to a laboratory for analysis, interviewed neighbors and were checking insurance policies, among other things, as part of the probe, Williams said.
“That is all part of the normal investigation in cases like this,” he said. “Not only do we have to look at possible suspects, we also have to eliminate people as suspects.”
Williams said investigators interviewed Miranda but the owner told them he had no idea who would set the building on fire or why.
A specially trained state police dog, Damien, handled by Trooper Mike Fagan, identified several spots in the building where an accelerant had been used, Williams said.
When firefighters arrived at the scene early Tuesday, they discovered the blaze was going up the rear staircase and were able to get inside to try to battle the flames, Williams said.
The sprinkler system put out part of the fire and helped it from spreading further in the three-story building, he said.
“The sprinklers helped but our guys made a great stop, too,” Williams said.
However, because of the amount of furniture inside, smoke and other factors, firefighters were forced out of the building to battle the flames from the street for a while, he said.
They were later able to get back in to fight the flames from the interior of the building, he said.
Ice also was a problem in fighting the blaze, which drew firefighters from four communities to cover city fire stations, he said.
The fire took several hours to extinguish. He estimated the loss of the building contents at a minimum of $500,000. The damage to the building was “a couple of hundred thousand,” he said.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Baker was in charge of the scene, assisted by Deputy Richard Francis on the second alarm.
A BAT bus was brought to the scene to allow firefighters to warm up, Williams said.
Williams said anyone with information about who set the fire should call the toll-free arson hotline, 800-682-9229.