Interior photos show extent of Texas mansion damage

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Governor Rick Perry returned to Austin from overseas to take his first firsthand look at damage to the Texas Governor's Mansion.

That's after fire swept through the 152-year-old mansion early Sunday. Investigators believe an arsonist set the blaze.

Perry surveyed the damage last night after returning from a European economic development trip. He shook hands with firefighters and spent time inside the Texas Department of Public Safety command center on the grounds.

Perry didn't speak with reporters about the fire, but he plans to do so later today.

Investigators have initially concluded from witnesses and video surveillance tapes the fire was set shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. Officials said they've spotted a person of interest in the
surveillance video.

An Austin-based fire expert on Tuesday reviewed photos released by Perry's office of the mansion's charred interior. Chemist Gerald Hurst tells The Associated Press that he notices "a point of interest" on the front porch. He says the front porch photos revealed what he described as a considerable "V pattern" of damage extending from the floor toward the ceiling.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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