Arson not ruled out in Taunton club fire

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) – Taunton authorities are investigating an overnight fire at a city business.

The fire broke out behind Bobby’s Place Dance Club just before 2 a.m. There are apartments above the club, and the Red Cross was called to the scene to assist residents.

Lt. Paul Roderick with the Taunton Police Dept. said officers were called to assist evacuations from the club early Friday morning. They said a detail officer was at the club and radioed in the report of the fire.

taunton arson signSeveral residents living on the second and third floors above the club didn’t evacuate on their own, police said, so officers had to enter the building via the back stairway to get them out. Fire crews said smoke quickly filled the stairways, but all residents reportedly exited the building unharmed.

Witness Tim Chandler woke up to the scene and firetrucks filling his backyard. “They were hacking and coughing and rubbing their eyes,” he said, “There was a ton of smoke, the place was filled with smoke.”

Three officers, Roderick said, were treated for smoke inhalation, but all have since recovered.

Fire officials have not ruled out arson as a possible cause. On Friday afternoon, the Fire Marshal’s office posted a sign at the business offering a $5,000 reward for more information on the blaze.

Employees of Bobby’s Place posted on their Facebook page late Thursday morning, thanking patrons for their support and concern.

“This by no means is the end but a new beginning. We will be working around the clock rebuilding and renovating our club. Due to water/fire damage on the dance floor our current lighting and sound equipment are pretty must a total loss,” the post read in part.

So far no word on the cause of the fire.

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