Fires At W.Va. Cave Attraction Ruled Arson

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Petersburg, W.Va. (AP) -- Investigators say two fires that destroyed the Smoke Hole Caverns gift shop and restaurant were deliberately set.

Grant County sheriff's deputy S.L. Wratchford says items were found inside a trash can beside the cave's entrance. The trash can also was set on fire.

Wratchford couldn't provide details because the investigation is ongoing.

The first fire burned an apartment area above the restaurant on the evening of Nov. 10.

Another fire broke out around 5 a.m. Nov. 11 and burned the building housing the restaurant and gift shop to the ground.

Smoke Hole Caverns remains open.

The tourist attraction is on route 55 between Seneca Rocks and Petersburg.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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