By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Authorities are investigating whether an early-morning fire at the old Salem Oil and Grease site on Grove Street over the weekend was caused by arson.
A report of the fire brought police and the Fire Department to 60 Grove St. shortly before 3 a.m. on Saturday, according to the police department’s incident log and an interview with fire Lt. Tim Flynn.
Crews arrived to find flames coming from an abandoned two-and-a-half story building at the rear left of the lot, near Beaver Street. Firefighters with Engine 4 then ran line from a hydrant on the street and worked to extinguish the blaze, an effort that took about 30 minutes.
The fire apparently began in the building’s basement. It was contained before it could do much more than smoke damage to the floors above, and it did not extend to any other buildings. There was nobody inside the building at the time, and there were no injuries.
The fire is being investigated by Lt. Michael Leonard with the Fire Department and Sgt. Kristian Hanson with the police.
No cause had been determined as of last night, though the heading for the incident in the police log categorizes it as being among “arson offenses.”