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North Topsail Beach house fire ruled arson

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NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Investigators have new developments in a house fire in North Topsail Beach. On March 27 around 1 a.m., the house at 162 Ocean View Lane caught fire. The flames quickly spread, destroying one home and damaging two others. State and local investigators say the fire was intentionally set. They are now offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The North Topsail Beach Fire Department, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have joined forces in the investigation. It's still an open case, so they can't say how the fire started, but they say it's arson.

Investigators say fires by the beach are hard to control because of the wind.

"Normally we have a constant breeze," North Topsail Beach Fire Department's Deputy Chief George Moore said. "Whether it be off the ocean or off the land, there's always a breeze. We may get a lull for an hour or so during the day, but for the majority of the time we are fighting a battle with the wind."

The cost of the damage to the three houses is estimated to be more than $2 million.

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