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Investigators offer reward for leads after two suspicious local fires

St. Vincent De Paul in Temple can't serve the more than 1,000 clients it typically sees in a...
St. Vincent De Paul in Temple can't serve the more than 1,000 clients it typically sees in a week after a fire destroyed its food pantry and warehouse on Oct. 13.(Megan Vanselow)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 2:08 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:41 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – The Temple Fire Marshal’s Office offered a $500 reward Friday for information leading to a conviction after two suspicious fires, one of which destroyed a local nonprofit’s food pantry and warehouse.

On Oct. 2 fire broke out at a home at 1303 East Avenue E.

Seven people were taken to a local hospital after they jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames that engulfed the three-story home.

Flames and heavy smoke were coming from the roof when the first crews arrived.

At around 3 a.m. on Oct. 13 fire gutted the warehouse and food pantry behind St. Vincent De Paul at 106 West Avenue D.

No one was injured but all the food, refrigerators, freezers and storage inside were destroyed.

The fire also destroyed many of the winter items St. Vincent De Paul was getting ready to sell at its thrift store including Christmas decorations for families that can’t afford to buy from retail stores, as well as coats, blankets and sleeping bags the charity typically gives to the homeless to get through winter.

St Vincent De Paul closed the store because of water damage.

Repairs were expected to take two months.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to call the Fire Marshal’s tip line at (254) 298-5955.

Tips may also be emailed to tfmo@templetx.gov.

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