Jul 11, 2011 7:01 PM by John Romero

Update: Pawn shop fire

Thousands of dollars of people's property has been lost after a fire struck the Fast Cash Pawn Shop in Eastern Colorado Springs around 4:00 Monday morning. Crews took the blaze out quickly but the damage was already done to the interior of the building on the corner of Chelton and Bijou.

Investigators say it wasn't an accident. "After our fire investigators were able to take a look at it when day break came, we found it to be incendiary which in our world means it was intentionally set." explains Sunny Smaldino with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. This wasn't the first fire at the shop either. "About 2 weeks ago there was another fire in the basement level." explains Smaldino. That fire remains under investigation.

Diane Cunningham, who has been pawning at Fast Cash for the past 2 months, couldn't believe the news. "I was watching the news and I heard it caught fire and all of my stuff is in here." she says, "Who could do such a thing? It's affecting everyone's lives. I needed temporary cash and now I'm out."

Now out hundreds of dollars, Cunningham wonders what comes next as she tries to get back on her feet again. "I gotta start over. I was just trying to get a little bit of extra cash to put gas in my car because I can't afford it. Trying to find work and stuff is hard." she says, "That affected my life, my son's life and my family's life because that was my stuff that I need to work. And now it's all gone."

The official cause of the fire isn't known yet. Smaldino tells us due to budget cuts the Colorado Bureau of Investigation handles all of the fire department's lab work. She tells us it could be at least 6 months before lab work results come back.



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