Rat that chewed electrical wire blamed for $1M Yakima, Wash., fire at veterans' building

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Yakima fire officials say a rat that chewed through the electrical wiring of a jukebox is responsible for a $1 million fire that gutted the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379. Investigators believe the rodent caught fire Wednesday morning and fled to its nest inside an old piano, where it ignited combustible material in the nest. The rat was found dead near the fire's point of origin.

Deputy Fire Marshal Ron Melcher says it's uncommon for rodents to cause fires. He says investigators had to study the building carefully to decide what happened because there was so much damage.

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(Information from the Yakima Herald-Republic, KNDO)