Fire probe completed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2006

AHOSKIE – The evidence has been collected.

An investigation into the cause of Sunday’s fire at Daniels Flea Market here on Main Street wrapped up on Thursday. There, arson investigators with the SBI and ATF completed their tasks as they sorted through the charred rubble.

&uot;Now we wait for the results,&uot; Ahoskie Police Department Detective Sgt. Jeremy Roberts said.

Roberts, the local lead investigator on the case, added that he expects it will take as long as two weeks to hear back from the SBI and ATF.

When asked if any significant evidence was collected at the scene, Roberts responded by saying, &uot;we found some things of interest.&uot;

The investigation was mandatory due to the size of the fire, one that consumed the entire building as well as threatened nearby businesses.

Roberts said this was standard operating procedure. He added that the public should not assume the fire was deliberately set just because arson investigators spent two days probing the cause of the blaze.

With the investigation completed, the portion of Main and Maple streets that front and side the Flea Market were reopened Thursday to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Passers-by will note a steel fence surrounding the Flea Market. Roberts said that portable fencing was erected for safety and security by the building’s insurance carrier.

Sunday’s blaze, reported at 8:02 a.m., took the efforts of nearly 80 firefighters from seven area departments to finally bring under control.