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Sterling fire intentionally set

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Investigators say fire that damaged the Lawrence Brothers building in Sterling, Illinois appears to be arson.

The fire was reported just after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, August 18, 2013 at the building at 2 First Avenue.  Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the Lawrence Brothers building.

A statement from the Sterling Fire Department said there were numerous containers of hazardous and poisonous chemicals inside the building.

Preliminary information from an investigator from the state fire marshal's office indicates the fire appeared consistent with arson.  A witness reported seeing two people run from the building moments before the fire was reported.  The possible suspects were last seen running southbound across the First Avenue bridge.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact Sterling Police at (815) 632-6640 or Whiteside County Crime Stoppers at (815) 625-7867.