Hickory firefighters responded to a fire at a two-story commercial building late Thursday.
Friday afternoon, investigators determined the fire was intentionally set.
Hickory Fire Education Coordinator Terri Byers said the fire department worked with the State Bureau of Investigation and Hickory police to determine the cause of the fire that burned through the roof of the Colonial Square commercial building on 10th Avenue Drive NE, according to a press release.
Those three agencies came to the conclusion that the fire was no accident.
Now, they are asking for the public to get involved.
Persons who may have information about the fire are asked to call the Hickory Fire Department at 828-323-7522 or Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.
Parts of the exterior of the Colonial Square building were charred. There was a large hole in the side of the roof and debris scattered at the foot of the building.
There was a fire-damaged seam down the middle of the roof where light from outside was visible.
Deirdre Bolter, owner of a mortgage lending company located in the building, said she’d been able to go in and see her office space.
“It’s just a lot of the insulation had come down, just soot everywhere,” Bolter said.
Paul Fogleman, an attorney with an office in the building, said his office came through relatively unscathed. But he said he got a look in the hallway and described the damage as extensive.
In addition to the building fire, there was also a small fire Thursday evening in a trash can behind the Custom Design Group building, only a few hundred feet down the street from the Colonial building.
Pam Ussery, director of the Children’s Academy located near the Custom Design building, said the academy turned over surveillance footage to the police showing a man setting a fire near the trash can.
Ussery said the person in the video appeared to be a white man driving a pick-up truck.
Crime scene tape was still up by Custom Design Friday morning, blocking off a piece scorched ground filled with garbage.
Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.
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