HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) – Fire officials in Holyoke believe a 9-alarm fire that destroyed a vacant paper mill was arson.

Chief David LaFond says the abandoned Parsons Paper Co. building had no power, leading him to believe the massive fire Monday night was deliberately set. The state fire marshal and the city’s arson squad are investigating.

Investigators are trying to determine if the blaze is linked to a rash of other, smaller fires in South Holyoke over the past month. A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to arrests.

The mill, which covered two city blocks, began operating in 1853 and closed in 2005.


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