Investigators: Tuscaloosa Fires Appear to be Accidental

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Investigators from the state Fire Marshal's Office say a fire at Multi-Marketing Incorporated greenhouse Friday in Tuscaloosa was an accident.

The findings come from assistant state fire marshal Ed Paulk. At a news conference today, Paulk said the blaze was caused by a torpedo-shaped heater that was left too close to a cardboard filled with documents and a mail bin that was lined with cloth. He said the heater can reach temperatures of 1200 degrees.

Also today, Jim Cavanaugh, the lead investigator from the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms, said his agency have yet to determine the cause of a fire that also occurred Friday at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Alabama.

He said they have yet to nail down the cause, but it appears to be accidental and may have been started by a candle that was left burning from an event the night before. Cavanaugh said he's awaiting final lab tests before releasing a final cause.

Meanwhile, the investigation into ten church fires in west and central Alabama continues. Cavanaugh said agent have checked about 700 leads so far and the ATF is bringing in fresh agents to the state. He told reporters the fires are solvable.

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