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Car fire in garage deemed suspicious

Firefighters found smoldering material in the back seat of a car that was totaled by smoke and fire damage Tuesday morning, leading investigators to turn to the public for help in finding a possible arsonist.

The car fire was reported at 9:30 a.m. in a four-car detached garage located behind a four-plex at the 4000 block of 18th Ave. N.W., according to assistant fire marshal Larry Mueller.

Smoke was coming out a small puncture hole in the rear window and a crack in the windshield when firefighters arrived, Mueller said. The car was filled with smoke and the windows were blackened.

No injuries were reported in the fire, and there was no sign of forced entry either into the garage or the vehicle, Mueller said. The car was a Chrysler 300, which can sell for around $30,000 new. Mueller said he didn't have a damage estimate available because it wasn't immediately clear how old the car is.

Officials are asking anyone with information on the fire to call the Arson Reward Hotline at 1-800-723-2020.

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