Major Damage from Fire and Vandalism
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage resulted from vandalism in Hamilton early this morning. Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster said the most damage was from a garage fire in an alley at the Jesse Casterson home on South 6th Street. The fire at about 5:20 Wednesday morning destroyed the garage and a VW car, along with significant heat damage to the nearby house, and neighbors’ properties in the alley. The heat melted the siding on the Casterson home. No one was injured in the blaze. Hamilton fire chief Brad Moen said the fire was of suspicious origin and the State Fire Marshal is investigating.
Oster said the rest of the vandalism dealt with paint. Cars, trucks and buildings were spray painted with vulgar words and images, and cans of paint were tossed off a downtown building onto a business awning and several cars on the 200 block. The St Francis Catholic Church was broken into and some items were taken. A wall of the Hamilton Middle School was painted.
Oster said the damage seemed to be confined to the south end of Hamilton, though reports are still coming in. He said the investigation will determine if the fire and the vandalism were connected. He asked the public’s assistance in the investigation. Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at 363-0062. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.