A fire that started inside a former New Bedford fire station has been deemed suspicious, according to the New Bedford Fire Department. It's the second suspicious fire in two weeks at the 2071 Purchase Street location, according to New Bedford District Chief James Fortin.

New Bedford firefighters responded Monday afternoon to flames and smoke billowing from the second floor of the former Station 10, and the fire was quickly brought under control. The building was unoccupied.

Station 10, built around 1900, is a former city property that has been privately owned for years. City and state records show the property is owned by "2071 Purchase St. Co. Inc." with Margaret M. Bancroft of Mattapoisett as president of the corporation. The ownership entity was formed in 1991 with David A. Bancroft as president.

There are no back taxes owed on the property, according to records provided by the New Bedford tax collector's office. The August quarterly tax bill of $1,696.36 was paid on time and in full.

Fire officials have said there were issues with break-ins at the property in the past. The cause of both fires remains under investigation.

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