Fire Department says it’s arson after fire strikes Durham car wash 2 days in a row

The Durham Fire Department is investigating after suspicious fires ignited in a Fayetteville Street building two days in a row.

The Fire Department determined the fires were caused by arson, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi said in an email Tuesday morning.

The property at 1003 Fayetteville St. is occupied by Tin City Hand Car Wash, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

The first fire was reported around 5:06 a.m. Monday.

About 42 firefighters responded after a passerby reported a possible gas leak in the single-story building, according to the Fire Department.

Firefighters saw smoke and flames from the side facing the street. Security bars over the windows hampered their efforts to extinguish the flames, but they got the fire out in about 10 minutes.

The second fire was reported around 3:33 a.m. Tuesday. It took 37 firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the fire, which caused heavy damage to the roof and interior of the building.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Assistant Fire Marshal Ashley Fletcher or Fire Inspector Darius Ricks at 919-560-4242.

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Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.