Car Fire At Lawrence Dealership Fire Ruled Arson

LAWRENCE (CBS) — Officials said a fire that damaged a total of six vehicles at Commonwealth Motors Sunday night has been confirmed as arson.

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said four vehicles were set on fire outside the dealership’s collision shop area. Two other vehicles suffered heat damage.

“We can see him lighting them,” Moriarty told WBZ.

A screen grab from amateur video shows a car fire at Commonwealth Motors. (WBZ-TV)

A screen grab from amateur video shows a car fire at Commonwealth Motors. (WBZ-TV)

The chief estimated the damage amount at $100,000.

The scene after a car fire at Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence. (WBZ-TV)

The scene after a car fire at Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence. (WBZ-TV)

Moriarty said there is surveillance video, with one potential suspect seen on the video. The department is not releasing it at this time.

“We do have videotape. We do know it’s arson. We’re working to catch that person. The rest of the facts, we’re going to hold for now,” Moriarty said.

Authorities add that quick work by firefighters who arrived on scene knocked the fire down and prevented more damage to other cars in the lot.

“The vehicles were parked very close together because of the winter storm that was coming. The risk of having many cars on fire was a lot greater,” the chief added.

None of the vehicles were owned by the dealership.

“No, unfortunately, they’re cars that are owned by people that are on the road. They’re there for repairs,” Moriarty said.

State Fire Marshal arson investigators are involved in the investigation, as well as Lawrence Police detectives and investigators from the Lawrence Fire Department.

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