NEW BEDFORD — With two suspicious fires at the same address in about three weeks, state and city officials are asking the public for help.

Station 10 is a former city fire station located at 2071 Purchase Street. The distinctive building in the city's North End is more than 100 years old. It is now privately-owned and vacant. The building has been owned by a real estate holding company with a Mattapoisett address since 1991. No back taxes are owed on the property, the New Bedford tax collector's office confirmed today.

On Monday, Sept. 7, at 1:39 p.m., New Bedford fire crews responded to the address to see smoke and flames billowing from the second story of the structure. The fire was quickly brought under control. On Saturday, August 15, a fire broke out inside the building at around 6:47 p.m. Both blazes are considered suspicious, authorities said today.

The building is located next to the Hayden McFadden Elementary School, adjacent to the Interstate 195 underpass skate park, and near railroad tracks that parallel Purchase Street.

Acting New Bedford Fire Chief Paul N. Coderre Jr., New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and State Fire Marshall Peter J. Ostroskey issued the request for help from the public today through the state's Department of Fire Services.

Anyone with information about either fire is asked to contact the Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229 or the New Bedford Police Department Tipline at (508) 961-4584. Tips may be submitted online at www.newbedfordpd.com/report.

The Arson Hotline is part of the Arson Watch Reward Program that provides awards up to $5,000 for information that helps to solve the case. The program is funded by the property and casualty insurance companies of Massachusetts.

The New Bedford Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal are jointly investigating the fires.

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