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Lincoln man arrested, accused of starting fire at Lincoln IGA

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LINCOLN — A Lincoln man has been arrested and accused of starting the fire that burned at the Lincoln IGA early Friday.

A fire at the grocery store was reported just before 4 a.m. when a caller said they saw flames coming from the building at 713 Pulaski St.

Lincoln police and fire responded to the scene and found the building engulfed. Officers noticed signs of a burglary and found a man fleeing the area, according to a statement from Lincoln Police Chief Paul Adams.

Michael A. Rowland, 38, was arrested after a search of the area and held on preliminary charges of aggravated arson and burglary.

Firefighters from Lincoln Fire Department, Lincoln Rural Fire Protection and Atlanta Fire Department extinguished the blaze quickly, while crews from Middletown Fire assisted the responding stations.

The store was heavily damaged by smoke and flame, including significant loss of merchandise.

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Michael Rowland

Michael A. Rowland

The preliminary estimate of damage is more than $2 million, Adams said.

“It comes with great sadness the loss of such a pillar of our community and I hope for a quick return of our Lincoln IGA, which will take the continued support of our community,” he said.

By noon Friday, fire officials were still on scene.

The fire remains under investigation by Lincoln police and fire departments, as well as the State Fire Marshal.

After months of COVID restrictions, Illinois enters final phase of reopening

Here are tips to prevent your home from being broken into. Remember, if you observe a suspicious person or behavior, call 911.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.


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