NEWBURY – Local and state officials said a fire that gutted a vacant cottage at One Plum Bush Downs on Wednesday night was arson.

Newbury Fire Chief Douglas Janvrin Jr., Newbury Police Chief John Lucey Jr. and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey announced that finding in a press release Thursday and asked for the public's help with the investigation. The wood-frame cottage did not have utilities. 

Janvrin and Lucey are encouraging anyone who saw or heard anything in the area between 10 and 11 p.m., or has any information about the fire, to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229 or the Newbury Police Detectives Unit at 978-462-4440, ext. 124. All calls are confidential.

The Arson Hotline is part of the Arson Watch Reward Program that offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information that helps to solve the case. The property and casualty insurance underwriting companies of Massachusetts fund the program.

Members of the Newbury Fire and Police departments and state police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal are investigating the fire. 

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