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Fire in vacant Springfield school ‘suspicious’

SPRINGFIELD — A two-alarm fire that caused severe damage to vacant Springfield school is considered suspicious.

Fire department spokesman Dennis Leger says arson investigators are taking a look at the fire Tuesday morning at the Chestnut Junior High School in the city’s North End. He says it’s suspicious because the building’s gas and electricity are turned off.

One firefighter required treatment at the hospital for an unspecified injury.

Leger tells The Republican the building was severely damaged in the fire reported shortly before 2 a.m.

Residents of a nearby apartment building were evacuated as a precaution.

The unoccupied, 82,000-square-foot building, which was built in stages beginning in 1901, has lay dormant since the school closed in 2004.

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