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Thomson firefighters battled a structure fire with the assistance of McDuffie County Fire and Rescue on Dell Drive around 2:30 a.m., May 17.

Thomson firefighters battled a structure fire with the assistance of McDuffie County Fire and Rescue on Dell Drive around 2:30a.m., May 17.  No one was injured in the fire. The building hasn’t had residents since March of this year.

Thomson Fire Chief John Thigpen said that the investigation of the fire is still pending. He has already ruled out electricity and utilities as a cause.

“We know it was a set fire, what we call an incendiary fire; we just don’t know if it’s intentional or unintentional,” he said.

The Dell Drive buildings belong to Nixon Holdings LLC, of which Trey Nixon was listed as a contact, Thigpen said. He added that Nixon does not live in Thomson and that the building was mostly boarded up.

Initially, Thigpen said someone saw a fire coming from out the back of the apartment building’s door and out of a window. However, by the time the fire department arrived on scene, Thigpen said the fire had grown big.  

In the fire, one building with four units was wholly damaged. The apartment complex has six buildings to it.  Thigpen said that one of the other buildings had heat damage. That building, he said, remains salvageable but needs replacements.

Now that the fire has happened, Thigpen said the owner has spoken about the possibility of putting up fencing and security.  Thigpen said that the problem could have been squatters going into the building and doing things that would cause a fire.  But, for now, the fire department is working with the state fire marshal to determine cause.

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