Looking for suspect(s) in Vintage Health Quest fire

Friday, January 27th 2006, 2:27 pm
By: News On 6

One of Tulsa's largest fires in years was set by an arsonist. The Vintage Health Quest fire destroyed a $2-million building and fire investigators say they're on the trail of the person responsible.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says it was a spectacular fire both in sheer size, and in the amount of damage, more than $2-million worth of insured losses.

While firefighters risked their lives to make sure no one was inside the building - investigators are now certain the last person inside was the person who set the fire. Investigators say it was definitely started by an arsonist and they know exactly where it started and how.

They say they've interviewed dozens of people, including some identified from surveillance tape of the building, before the fire started. They say they have suspects, but won't say who they are. Even though the first firefighters on the scene reported a back door was open, investigators say that didn't figure into their determination is was set.

One thing that caught their attention was the fire starting on the bottom floor in a spot where there was nothing to get a fire started, and not much around to keep it burning either.

After four days of investigation, the Tulsa Fire Department has gathered all the evidence they can from the scene, and turned it back over to the owner and insurance company. Friday it was being fenced off. The building was a total loss, despite a massive deployment of firefighters.

The building didn't have a fire alarm or fire sprinklers that might have limited the damage. The interior of the club was recently remodeled and the land behind it was for sale. Investigators say with the on-scene investigation done - they're now following the evidence, from financial records to chemical traces - hoping what they have will lead them to the arsonist.

Now even though investigators think they have good evidence from the crime scene, they're hoping for tips that will fill out the story of what happened, and who set the fire.

The arson hotline number is 596-2776. Tips can be anonymous and even those qualify for a cash reward.