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Man charged in Gospel Rescue Mission fire

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 20:38:49-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire that burned the Gospel Rescue Mission early Tuesday morning.

Claire Franklin Piece, 61, was charged with arson of an occupied structure and felony criminal damage according to the South Tucson Police Department.

Witnesses tell KGUN9 the flames started before 3 a.m. and quickly spread.

Crews from both the Tucson Fire Department and South Tucson Fire battled the flames at 300 West 28th St.

Lt. Jeff Inorio of South Tucson Police says the fire appears to have started in the yard where collected items were stored. 

Inorio says the fire spread to a fire on the property and two vehicles on the property were damaged. One of those vans was used to deliver food and items to those less fortunate.

No one was hurt in the fire, according to TFD Captain Barrett Baker.

The investigation is ongoing at this time. 

Next door to the rescue mission, four windows blew out of one man's home as a result of the heat from flames. 

If you would like to help the Gospel Rescue Mission, they are accepting donations at their Women's Center located at 707 West Miracle Mile and on www.grmtucson.com.