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It burst into flames about 9 p.m. Saturday night, a couple of hundred feet from the Christmas Island Steakhouse and North Pole Tavern, where a Laconia High School graduating class was holding its 30th reunion. Some alumni and restaurant customers were in the parking lot just minutes before the fire was reported, he said.
Erickson said there is no question the fire's origin is suspicious.
He said it is not unusual for the BATF to become part of the investigation. Agents are working with the New Hampshire Fire Marshal's Office, Laconia fire and Laconia police, he said.
The previous weekend, a three-alarm fire destroyed Skate Escape, a roller-skating rink located on Court Street in downtown Laconia. "The devastation hit hard — memorabilia and all of our skate supplies, etc. were taken from us in the fire," the owners, Janine Page and Erica Duncan, wrote on the Skate Escape Facebook page the day after the fire.
A fire also damaged the linen facility associated with Lakes Region General Hospital that weekend.
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