A fire that damaged a house in the 1900 block of South Pearl Avenue was deliberately set, Joplin Fire Department officials said Tuesday.

The single-story, frame house was vacant, according to Dale Brooks, Joplin fire marshal.

Crews responded to the alarm at 2:40 a.m. Tuesday. Brooks said the rear of the home was in flames when firefighters arrived.

“It was a rental house that was not occupied, and it didn’t have any electrical service at the time,” he said. “We’re investigating it as incendiary.”

He said officials have not determined the owner of the home. Joplin police also are involved in the probe, he said.

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