Pocatello Fire Department Division Chief Roy Allen estimated the damage at between $300,000 and $500,000.He
said the building was filled with inventory which caused the fire to burn extremely hot.
Vandals have repeatedly smashed windows at the business during the past year, most recently sometime Sunday, prompting officials to suspect foul play.Allen
has referred calls to investigators from people who thought they saw suspicious things the night of the fire, but none of the tips have panned out.
"We're going very meticulously so as not to miss any evidence from the suspicious fire," Allen
said, adding investigators will analyze burn patterns on debris."I think (the investigation) is getting along pretty well."Allen
said firefighters have removed destroyed bikes from the building, which housed a bike shop, a lock and key business and a call center, along with computers, important papers and other inventory.
"The conditions were somewhat unsafe," Allen
said anyone who enters the fire scene must wash boots and protective equipment to reduce the risk of tainting potential evidence.
John O'Connell covers Pocatello city government and environmental issues for the Journal.He
can be reached by calling 239-3128 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.