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Fire that damaged Illinois state representative's office 'suspicious,' officials say

Fire that damaged Illinois state representative's office 'suspicious,' officials say

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EDWARDSVILLE • Fire Chief Rick Welle says a fire Monday night in a building that houses Illinois Rep. Dwight Kay’s office is considered suspicious.

Edwardsville and Wood River firefighters responded to the office building at 201 Southpointe Drive about 8:50 p.m. Monday, Welle said. The blaze caused fire and smoke damage to all five offices in the one-story office building before firefighters suppressed the fire by about 10 p.m.

No one was in the building when the fire started and no firefighters were hurt while extinguishing it, Welle said. The building sustained what Welle described as serious damage but he would not say which office had the most damage.

The building houses State Farm agent Ted Mitchell’s office, a counseling services office and two consulting agencies, Welle said. It was not clear if any of the offices was targeted but investigators have not ruled out arson.

The cause of the fire is not yet known but Welle said there was no evidence of an incendiary device used to start it. Welle said the state fire marshal’s office is investigating along with the Illinois State Police crime lab.

Chris Guy, a spokesman for Kay, R-Edwardsville, said fire investigators told him most of the damage was in the basement. He said he and Kay went into Kay’s office today and saw smoke damage but found nothing “of consequence” damaged or missing. Guy and Kay retrieved supplies and computers from the office today.

Kay is continuing to work from home and from his district office in Springfield.

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