“There is no connection between the fires,” Fire Marshal’s Office spokesperson Jennifer Mieth told XBiz.
Mieth said that fire investigators have determined the cause of the first fire, which started in the middle of the night on Jan. 16 and destroyed an Amazing Superstore in Reading to be electrical problems. The cause of the second fire, which likewise started during the night on Jan. 23 and leveled an Amazing Superstore in Peabody is still under investigation.
She said it could be a matter of days or weeks before investigators reach any conclusions.
While two Amazing stores burning to the ground just miles from each other a week apart is bound to raise suspicions, state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan told the Boston Herald that conspiracy theorists should not let their imaginations run wild.
“I’ve been on this job long enough to know when there are coincidences,” he said.
In both cases, the fires had completely engulfed the stores by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. Crews from neighboring towns had to be called in to help fight the blazes, but Mieth said there was no chance of salvaging the stores, so firefighters concentrated on containing the fires before they destroyed adjoining businesses.
While the Reading fire ripped through an entire strip mall where the store was located, a pool hall and restaurant near the Peabody Amazing store were spared.