An official from the Ann Arbor Police Department said in an interview yesterday that the investigation into the late night blaze that gutted an abandoned building on South University Avenue earlier this month is moving forward, but very slowly.
Detective Dave Monroe’s comments came a day after Fire Marshal Kathleen Chamberlain said the Ann Arbor Fire Department is waiting for the AAPD to have a breakthrough in the case before moving forward with the fire department’s investigation.
The AAPD still believes the fire — which engulfed the former location of Pinball Pete’s late the night of Oct. 24 — was set intentionally, but it has not yet identified any suspects.
In an interview yesterday, Monroe said the police are looking for a few individuals who are believed to have been near the building around the time the fire started.
“Not as suspects,” Monroe said, “but maybe someone who would have seen someone coming or going at that time.”
Monroe said the individuals the police are looking for are most likely homeless. He said they are not under suspicion of setting the fire but are wanted for questioning.
Monroe also stressed that the AAPD does not believe the building’s owners set the fire intentionally so they could file insurance claims on the damaged property.
“We don’t have reason to believe it,” he said. “We’re asking the questions, but we don’t suspect that.”
The AAFD does not have any leads in the investigation either, according to an article published yesterday in The Michigan Daily.
“We are waiting to see if the police detectives come up with something that would be applicable for us to follow up on,” Fire Marshal Kathleen Chamberlain told the Daily.
She also stated yesterday that if the detectives on the case don’t obtain any leads the cause of the fire would be ruled undetermined. However, she said the case would remain open until someone comes forward with new information.
“Arsons are usually built on circumstantial evidence rather than direct evidence,” she said. “They’re very difficult. We process what we have and are waiting to see if anything new comes up.”