The Richmond Fire Department is investigating a possible arson after an insurance office caught fire Wednesday morning.

The fire occurred at State Farm Insurance at 213 St. George St. around 5:40 a.m., said Corey Lewis, public relations for the Richmond Fire Department.

“The initial call was that there was a burglary alarm activation at the building,” he said. “When the Richmond Police Department arrived on scene, they noticed heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the structure. They immediately radioed dispatch and advised them.”

The building itself was not occupied when the police arrived.

“The fire is still under investigation,” Lewis said. “At this time, with have enough information to know that it was a set fire. It was an arson.”

The office where the fire originated sustained the most damage while the rest of the building sustained “significant smoke damage,” Lewis said.

An engine and ladder company from the department responded to the scene and made a quick knockdown of the fire.

Lewis said he was not aware of anything taken from the building, but he said the owner, Joe Massengale, has been going through it to make sure and he has been advised to notify the police if something is missing.

Bryan Marshall can be reached at or 624-6691.

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