EUGENE, Ore. — Another Eugene business went up in flames Tuesday morning, and Eugene police say it’s the work of an arsonist.
An office building at George Sutton RV on Highway 99 is destroyed. Fortunately the fire didn’t spread to any RVs, but an office building is gone.
Sutton RV stayed opened for business because the owner says they need to sell to pay for a building. George Sutton held on to his wife as he watches firefighters soak down what’s left of his scorched office building.
“Our sales office, my office and our finance manager’s office–so it’s really worked out handy. Unfortunately it’s pretty much gone,” Sutton said.
It’s one of three main buildings of Sutton’s RV business. Sutton says between all of them, this structure holds lesser importance to his operation, although it has the most personal value.
“My wife’s dad’s first bear head he ever, the first one he ever got back in the 1920s. You know the sentimental things. I had a Terry Bradshaw football that got burnt up in there,” Sutton said.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at 6 a.m. and able to keep it from spreading, but the damage was done. The source of the fire is believed to be a plastic picnic table on the deck.
“The plastic is pretty much petroleum product. So once those start to burn, they are just solid gasoline,” said Eugene Police Detective Steve Williams.
That’s prompting investigators to label this blaze peculiar.
“It’s not an accident. It doesn’t appear that there was anything on the deck at all that could have started this, like electrical or who knows what, a gas line, or something like that,” Williams said.
Just the day before, five businesses shut down because someone started a fire in a dumpster, then pushed it up against a wall, torching the electrical boxes and causing severe smoke damage. Police can’t say if this is the work of the same arsonist, but they aren’t ruling it out.
“It’s hard to say but just having this many fires in this close of time frame of this size. The Don Juan fire was a pretty good size one on the outside of the building, but it caused a pretty significant amount of damage. Of course to have this one as well makes you wonder,” Williams said.
For Sutton, he’s glad no one was hurt, but the possible act of arson is painful.
“Why do this? It hurts the community, and it hurts other people. But like I said, we’ll get through this,” Sutton said.
Police don’t have any suspects or leads for either fire. Officers advise businesses if you have security cameras, place the recording system on different property in case the business burns down.