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Arson suspected in fire that burned nine vehicles

Arson suspected in fire that burned nine vehicles

Mar 19, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

"They basically ruled out accidental and natural (causes)," said Riverton fire chief Mike Hutchinson.

An unexplained fire damaged up to nine vehicles last week at a tow yard on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Riverton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Hutchison said no one was injured in the blaze, which began in one vehicle at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, then spread to several others at War Paint Towing, 143 Goes In Lodge Road.

"The first vehicle became fully involved, then there was radiant heat and a pretty good wind blowing out of the southwest that just kind of pushed it into the rest of (the cars)," Hutchison said Tuesday.

"I believe nine vehicles total were involved -- either damaged or destroyed."

The vehicles were in various conditions before the fire, he added.

"A couple had been damaged in wrecks; that's why they were towed," Hutchison said. "The rest, I don't know what shape they were in before."

Once the fire was extinguished, he said investigators examined the first vehicle but could not determine what caused the blaze.

"They basically ruled out accidental and natural (causes), but we don't know for sure what started it yet," Hutchison said. "It's still under investigation."

About 10 local firefighters in two engine companies responded to the scene, he said.

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