A fire that destroyed a former pawn shop Monday at the corner of Oak Pond Road and Main Street in Canaan is the result of arson, a state fire official said Wednesday.

Sgt. Joel Davis, who is in charge of fire investigations with the Office of State Fire Marshal, said the fire was set.

The Office of State Fire Marshal has determined it was an arson fire that destroyed a commercial building Monday at the corner of Oak Pond Road and Main Street in Canaan. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson Buy this Photo

“That’s going to be incendiary, or arson,” he said of the cause.

Davis asked that anyone who has information about the fire or who was driving in that area when the fire was reported around 2:40 a.m. Monday to call the fire marshal’s office at 624-7076 and leave a message if no one answers.

Firefighters from several towns battled the blaze early Monday morning after a passerby reported it, according to Canaan fire Chief Troy Bowden. Bowden said Wednesday that he requested fire marshals to help determine a cause because of the extent of damage.

“Obviously, they came to a conclusion at some point,” he said of the investigation. “They’re on the track of something …”

State fire investigators were called to the scene Monday and have done follow-up interviews with people since then, according to Davis, who described the building as “completely destroyed.”

The large building, which has been vacant a number of years, was a restaurant before it became a pawn shop. At the scene Tuesday, shelves of items inside the structure were visible from where windows had been taken out. Snow skis were leaning up against an outside wall, and windows, doors, insulation and a metal roofing were strewn about.

Bowden said Tuesday that nothing was salvageable in the building.

The three-alarm fire drew crews from several towns including Canaan, Skowhegan, Hartland, Clinton, Cornville, Fairfield, Burnham, Athens and Madison, according to Bowden. He said there had been an upstairs apartment in the building where he believed a carpenter lived a couple of years ago. No one lived there recently.

The building is just east of Lake George Regional Park’s east entrance. It is west of and adjacent to the former Oak Pond Motor Lodge.

Bowden said he believes the building’s owner lives out of state.

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