New Albany fire officials say the fire along Culbertson Avenue Tuesday evening was an arson, but added they have not made arrests in the case.

New Albany Fire Department Chief Ron Toran said investigators believe the fire in a house converted into two apartments was set intentionally because they “ruled out all the accidental causes.”

The fire likely started on the floor in one of the middle rooms of the second-floor apartments, Toran said. It is impossible at this point to determine what exactly was used to start the fire or if any accelerants were used, he said.

Several samples taken from the floor of the apartment are being tested to get more information, Toran said.

“This is not something you can solve over night,” he said, adding the fire department is conducting its own investigation into the arson and NAPD is not involved.

The blaze destroyed the home, 606 Culbertson Ave., which had been renovated into two apartments. Firefighters were called to the house just before 5 p.m. and found the entire second level engulfed in flames.

Firefighters on route to the home were warned by dispatchers that someone might still be on the second floor of the apartment building, but no one was found to be inside.

The owner of the rental home, who declined to give his name, said two women were living in the upper apartment, but he was in the process of evicting them for nonpayment.

Toran said fire officials have yet to speak with the two women at length about the fire, but they were planning to do so. He wouldn’t comment further on whether or not he believed the arsonist to be one or possibly both of the women.

“Until we investigate and talk to these people, we just won’t know,” Toran said.

A neighbor at the scene of the fire said she saw two people — one of which she recognized as one of the women that lived in the upstairs apartment — leave the house just before the fire broke out.

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