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Arson Blamed For Comcast Building Fire In W. Va.

A July 4 fire that destroyed a Comcast facility in Keyser, W.Va. -- causing an estimated $300,000 in damage -- was deliberately set, according to local police officials.

The fire, set at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Independence Day, caused $200,000 in damage to the structure and $100,000 to the Comcast equipment, disrupting cable TV and broadband service to Comcast customers in the area.

Comcast employees set up a temporary headend in a trailer over the holiday weekend, trucking in equipment from Pennsylvania, to restore service by Sunday, spokeswoman Jody Doherty said. She declined to say how many subscribers were affected by the outage.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office is offering a reward of up to $1,500 for information about the incident, according to a report by the Cumberland Times-News.

Doherty said the details of the arson investigation are being handled by local law-enforcement officials. She praised the rapid police response on July 4 as well as Comcast's own employees.

"I applaud our employees," she said. "They worked overnight to restore service."

The Comcast building in Keyser, at 55 N. Main St., was a residence before it was purchased by Telemedia, which leased it to Comcast, according to the Times-News.