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Police question man about Bay Street fire

Police were yesterday questioning a man in connection with the recent fire on Bay Street, Assistant Superintendent Clayton Fernander revealed to The Nassau Guardian.

Fernander said the individual was in custody from Monday night, but no charges were filed up to yesterday.

He said police had not confirmed the fire was the work of an arsonist, but had not ruled it out.

The fire was started around 3 a.m., officials reported.

It ripped through a portion of Bay Street, destroying the historic Pompey Museum and the Old Nassau liquor store building, and severely damaging other structures on the western end of Bay Street.

Superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux, the outgoing director of fire services, who was on the first day of his pre-retirement leave, told reporters on Friday that the fire appeared to have started at the site of the old straw market tent.

The fire came dangerously close to the British American Building, which houses the chief justice’s chambers, courts, and financial offices.

The large building was threatened after 5 a.m. when the wind blew the blaze to the southern portion of Bay Street.

The building that houses Edy’s Ice Cream — immediately opposite Pompey Museum — was one of the buildings burnt.

The roof of another building just behind it caved in from the blaze.

The new multimillion-dollar straw market was not damaged.  It was built to replace the straw market, which was destroyed by fire just over a decade ago.

Kim Outten-Stubbs, chief curator for the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation, noted that the museum managed to salvage some of its artifacts and rare books.

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