The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating two recent arson fires at the former Prime Tanning property in Berwick.

The most recent fire was discovered around 7 a.m. Saturday in a vacant building and came exactly a week after another fire in the same U-shaped building, according to Sgt. Ken Grimes of the Fire Marshal’s Office. Both fires were intentionally set and remain under investigation.

Grimes said the fires caused only minor fire damage but did cause extensive smoke damage. No one was injured.

Most of the hulking industrial buildings that once took up 11 acres in the middle of town are being torn down as part of a redevelopment project. Several of the buildings, including the one where the fires were set, are being repurposed.

The tannery opened in 1930, employing more than 600 people at its peak and building a reputation as one of the premier tanneries in New England. When the company announced in 2008 that it would close its leather-finishing operations in Berwick, 150 people lost their jobs.

After Prime Tanning closed and the company filed for bankruptcy, the buildings on the sprawling property fell into disrepair.

“If anyone in the community has any information about the fires, we’d certainly like to talk to them,” Grimes said.

The Fire Marshal’s Office can be contacted at 626-3870 or people can call the arson hotline at 888-870-6162.

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