UPDATE: OV Mall movie theatre fire ruled arson

A fire is under investigation at the AMC Classic Theatre in St. Clairsville. And authorities believe there could be a criminal element to it.

A fire at the AMC Classic Theatre in St. Clairsville has been declared arson.

A state fire marshal investigator found the fire was intentionally set on Tuesday afternoon.


The Cumberland Trail Fire District was dispatched to a call of an automatic alarm at the theatre shortly after 10 a.m.

From there, mutual aid was called in with Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Wolfhust and Barton departments responding.

“Upon further investigation, the members found a curtain near one of the stages that was lit," Cumberland Trail Fire Chief John Slavik said.

The Belmont County Sheriff's Office stayed on site for several hours, maintaining the scene until a state fire marshal investigator -- and a K-9 companion -- arrived at the theatre to further investigate.

Slavik says this time, the call was not just another false alarm.

"We go to a lot of false alarms,” he said. “In this case, the automatic alarm system did alert us very prudently."

Slavik also says no damage was found inside the theatre, short of a light haze.

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