Arson suspected in fire that destroyed Springfield apartments - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Arson suspected in fire that destroyed Springfield apartments

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Reports vary, but anywhere from 44 to 65 people were homeless Sunday, following a fire in the city's North End.

The Red Cross reported 15 families were affected and investigators told CBS 3 that they believe it is arson.

CBS 3 cameras arrived to the scene shortly after Midnight at 2764 Main St. It was two hours in and flames could still be seen shooting from the roof of the buildings.

Later Sunday morning, the fire was out, but the damage was clearly done. In all, three buildings were heavily damaged.

Dennis Leger, aide to Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, estimated it to be in the range of $500,000.

"My daughter called me and told me the building was on fire," said resident David Rios. "So I came dramatically down the block and thank God they were all out and safe."

Rios and his family of six had lived on the third floor of one of the buildings for the past three years. This is not the first time they have had to overcome adversity.

"We have been through a lot," Rios stated. "We moved down here. We have been through a shelter, a shelter program, and then we moved to this building. But we are going to make it out of this one."

Leger said no firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze.

Two women who lived in the building were taken to the hospital, but have since been treated and released.

For the Rios family, there is strength in numbers.

"This is another step, another hurdle that we can go over with the whole family," said Rios. "Because without family, you are not going to do it, you know what I mean?"

With investigators believe that it was a set fire, the Springfield Fire Department is asking for the public's help in tracking down the person or persons responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arson and Bomb Squad at 413-787-6370.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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