PITTSFIELD — Authorities are working to identify a suspect or suspects in an arson fire that damaged part of an empty factory building Wednesday afternoon.

A passer-by reported the fire at the former San Antonio Shoe factory around 2:40 p.m., Pittsfield Fire Chief Bernard Williams said Thursday.

The Office of State Fire Marshal believes the fire was set intentionally, according to Sgt. Ken Grimes.

Grimes said his office finished the scene investigation but still is working to identify who might be responsible for the fire.

The fire started in the section of factory that connected the old building — the former Waverly Woolen Mill — with the new one, which is a corridor shaped like an L, Williams said. The factory has been vacant for years and has no power or heat, he said, so there is no other apparent cause.

“There was nothing in there to start the fire,” he said.

The firefighters were able to contain the fire and damage to that area and stopped it from burning through the roof, Williams said.

“The boys did an excellent job,” he said.

The fire was doused in about 20 minutes, though the department stayed until 6:30 p.m. to check the area and assist the fire marshal’s office.

The Detroit, Hartland, St. Albans and Newport fire departments assisted with the fire suppression. The town’s highway crew was also a “great assistance,” Williams said, as it plowed a road up to the burning section of the building so a firetruck could get in.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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