Fire Cause May Be Announced

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Inspector Meets With State Officials Today

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, July 10, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Electricians and construction workers repair Funarama at the Hampton Beach Casino after a fire in the walls of the building closed down the boulevard on July 4.
[Scott Yates/]

HAMPTON -- Funarama Arcade is back in business after it was forced to close down for a couple of days in the aftermath of a small fire that erupted in the building on July 4.

The fire caused minimal damage to the popular arcade. which is located on the fist floor of the historic Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Damage was contained to a 50 foot section of the outside wall on F Street. On Monday, the wall was boarded up and the arcade was reopened as if nothing had happened.

Hampton Fire Chief Hank Lipe said they are still investigating the cause of the minor fire on July 4 including the possibility that it was arson.

While a couple who reported the Fire told fire officials they witnessed a group of teenagers in the area at the time of the blaze, Lipe said its too early to jump to the conclusion that they may have been involved.

"We are still investigating,"

Lipe said "We are waiting on tests to come back."

Lipe said he hopes to have more answers today when Fire Inspector Jeffrey LeDuc meets with officials from the State Fire Marshals office.

A quick response from local fire departments was credited for saving the arcade and numerous other businesses on the first floor of the 108-yearold Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom complex.

Officials said the two-alarm blaze started about 7 p.m., and took over an hour to get under control.

Lipe credited the extra staff on duty at the time of the fire for saving the building.

"The Fire Department did a tremendous job," said Fred Schaake, one of the Casino's owners.

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