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Investigators seek source of Fayetteville law firm fire

Posted March 8

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— Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fire on Monday at the office of a Fayetteville law firm.

The fire at Downing and Downing Attorneys, located at 219 Dick Street, was reported at 6:11 p.m., according to the Fayetteville Fire Department.

The building, which dates from 1917, is made mostly of wood, and its age and construction presented special challenges to the firefighters, Assistant Fire Chief Richard Bradshaw said.

"This was an old one that had been renovated into a law office complex. The renovation work, things were covered over, layering and things like that. So it creates a lot of issues for the firefighters," he said.

They were able to contain the fire to the second floor, Bradshaw said, but smoke and water damaged both floors.

Thad Downing, a partner in the family firm, said his greatest concern was whether he could recover documents from the thousands of cases he and his father have managed over the years.

The business had closed for the day when the fire was reported, and no one was injured, officials said.

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