IC: Fire at the AVL

DALLAS (AP) - Firefighters from three Dallas area fire departments were called to the scene of a fire at the American Vampire League in East Dallas around 6:50 a.m. today.

Employees and volunteers from the American Vampire League initially called 911 to report an attack on the building, with windows being broken on the upper floors and what looked like plastic bottles of burning dish soap being thrown inside.

Upon arrival, the Dallas Fire Department found flames shooting from a second-story outdoor wall facing the main strip.

Volunteers and employees of the surrounding businesses in that block, as well as the apartments in the area were evacuated by emergency personnel.

By 7:20 a.m., firefighters were still trying to control the fire and rescue those who were trapped within the building.

Fire Chief Mason Larchmont, on the scene, said that the cause of the fire was definitely arson. "We have eyewitness reports, but we still need to send in the specialists to determine just what type of accelerant was used so that we have a better understanding on how to handle these types of fire in the future."

By 7:50 a.m. the Dallas Fire Department was able to contain the fire to the building, though the majority of the American Vampire League building was destroyed.

"It is a travesty," a spokesperson for the AVL stated in a brief interview. "We are uncertain whether this was an act of racism or an act of random violence. Either way, we know it was deliberate and we are taking action via the proper legal channels." When pressed further as to the uncertainty, she went on to say that if we looked at the timing of it the fire was not entirely directed at the vampires. "They started attacking the building when most of our human volunteers were beginning to come in for the morning shift. This would have been after the majority of our vampire employees had left for the day. Thankfully everyone managed to get out of the building with little to no injury, but this could have been a great deal more tragic."

A reward is being offered to anyone with information about the arson. If you have information on the crime, call the Dallas Police Department or contact the Arson tip line at 1-888-55-ARSON.

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