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Photos show extensive damage inside Texas mansion
Governor s Mansion 5556342
This undated recent view of the Texas Governor's Mansion looking east from the top of the grand staircase, was released by the governor's office Tuesday, June 10, 2008. Federal experts have been brought in and state officials are asking for the public's help in identifying who may be to blame for the weekend blaze that badly damaged the historic mansion while being restored. The protective covering installed during maintenance is visible on the banister. - photo by Associated Press
    AUSTIN, Texas — Interior photos of the fire-damaged Texas Governor’s Mansion released Tuesday show scorched walls, charred debris and sunlight streaming through a collapsed ceiling.
    The 152-year-old mansion was unoccupied and undergoing renovations when the blaze broke out early Sunday. Officials have said they suspect arson, but an investigation is ongoing.
    In one of the photos, released by Gov. Rick Perry’s office, a person can be seen standing on the mansion’s severely damaged but still intact main staircase, littered with ash. Other photos show damage to the second-floor ceiling and a view from inside the Sam Houston bedroom.
    Investigators have initially concluded from witnesses and video surveillance tapes the fire was set shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday, said state Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado.
    Officials said they’ve spotted a person of interest in the surveillance video.
    ‘‘We’re very confident we’re going to find the perpetrator that has caused the damage and that has committed this crime,’’ Maldonado said.
    The fire caused parts of the roof to buckle and charred much of the front of the white structure and its famous Greek revival-style columns.
    State officials have yet to assess the full impact of the damage as they wait for state and federal law enforcement agencies to conclude their arson investigation. Perry’s office has expressed strong interest in rebuilding the landmark.
    All furniture and relics had been removed from the mansion before the fire because of the $10 million renovation project, which was to have been completed by next spring. Planned improvements included a sprinkler system.

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