Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arson Not Cause of James Hook Fire

Arson ruled out in fire that gutted Boston lobster business

June 11, 2008

BOSTON --Investigators have ruled out arson in the fire that gutted a landmark lobster business on Boston's waterfront last month.

The Boston Fire Department said Wednesday that an electrical or mechanical problem likely caused the May 30 blaze that caused an estimated $5 million in damage to the James Hook & Co. building. No one was injured in the fire at 440 Atlantic Ave.

Investigators believe the early morning fire started in the center of the building. That area of the structure was destroyed, making an exact cause difficult to determine.

The family business was founded in 1925. Ed Hook, who owns it along with three siblings, has said the family planned to rebuild.

James Hook & Co. shipped 50,000 pounds of lobsters a day, among other seafood, selling mostly to distributors and some restaurants. The building also had a small retail store.

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