ATF: "Molotov" cocktail started Governor's Mansion
Last Update: 1:52 pm
An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent tells CBS 42
News the object seen being thrown in surveillance
video appears to be a "Molotov," which is a lit
container with flammable liquid inside.
Early on Thursday, state Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado
confirmed Sunday's fire at the Governor's Mansion was
arson. He says a surveillance camera captured on video
an individual igniting an object and tossing onto the
building's front porch. From there, the fire spread
rapidly. Maldonado says evidence shows an accelerant
was used in the crime.
Officials would not say if the suspect is male or
female. The surveillance video is being enhanced in
order to gather more clues.
At the Thursday morning news conference, the state
fire marshal said the on-site investigation is now
complete and the building is being returned to the
state for restoring.
According to the state's restoration engineers, the
building is "structurally deficient" and the roof will
need to be replaced. The downstairs seems to be in the
best shape, but other areas of the 152-year-old
landmark are extensively damaged.
Structural engineer, John Volz, says his reaction to
seeing the devastation was "like having a sick child
or family member -- it's heartbreaking." But he is
adamant the building can be salvaged.
Construction crews will begin the rehabilitation
within days by removing the debris. Workers won't know
how much total damage was done until they get deeper
into the restoration project.
Restorers will need to stabilize the building, to dry
it out, and to protect the interior from the weather.
Estimates of repairing the building are as high as ten