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Answers sought in Manchester international market fire
A police officer directs traffic in front of the Sahara International Supermarket in Manchester on Monday after flames gutting the building on Sunday night. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Fire at Middle Eastern market in Manchester not seen as hate crime
MANCHESTER — Fire investigators spent Monday at the Massabesic Street market destroyed by fire Sunday and will return there today to learn what caused the three-alarm blaze.
“We're going back there tomorrow to determine origin and cause,” District Fire Chief Edward O'Reilly said Monday.
“Everything is on the table. It's under active investigation,” he said.
The Sahara International Supermarket at 750 Massabesic St. was destroyed by the blaze reported by a passerby about 9:51 p.m. Firefighters faced roof collapses and primarily waged an exterior attack before bringing the fire under control at 11:19 p.m., fire officials said.
There were no reported injuries.
Fire Chief James Burkush said the fire appeared to have started on the second floor toward the back of the wooden building.
The building once housed the popular Cheapo Depot, a store that sold discount goods.
“You can arguably call it a landmark building in the city,” O'Reilly said.
It most recently was home to Sahara International Market.
The building was the target of an arson fire on March 8, 2010. An arsonist also set fire to two vacant buildings on nearby Mammoth Road. The three are among a cluster of arson fires that occurred in early March 2010 and remain unsolved.
Investigators said it is too early to say if Sunday's fire was suspicious.
The building is owned by Monitor Medical LLC of Hooksett.
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