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Business fire ruled arson

A fire early Monday morning at a closed West End business is now believed to have been caused by arson.

According to Clanton Police officials, the fire was reported at the old Zona Rosa Bar and Grille on Jackson Avenue at around 12:45 a.m. Monday by two police officers patrolling the area that morning. The officers called in fire officials who doused the fire, saved the building and preserved crucial evidence for the state fire marshals.

“At this time, we are prepared to investigate this fire as an arson because of the investigation by the state fire marshals and the evidence they discovered at the scene,” Detective Freddie Mayfield, with the Clanton Police Department, said.

Inside the building, investigators and state fire marshals discovered what they believed to be an accelerant that could have been used to start the fire.

“Clanton Police Officers Larry Colburn and Robert Bland and the fire department did an excellent job in saving the structure and evidence needed to prosecute this case,” Clanton Chief of Police Brian Stilwell said. “Clanton Police detectives are following up on some good leads, and the firefighters did an excellent job in containing the fire damage, saving a large amount of evidence.”

Anyone with information concerning the fire can contact Mayfield at 755-1195.