Arson not suspected in Canal Street fire
NEW ORLEANS - The fire chief in New Orleans says arson isn't suspected in the blaze that blanketed part of the city with smoke and forced the closure of historic Canal Street.
However, Timothy McConnell said Wednesday his department wasn't yet ready to release a suspected cause of the fire.
Some lanes of Canal Street were re-opened Wednesday afternoon and streetcar traffic was resuming. Officials are assessing damage to the building - and whether Mardi Gras parades that start Friday will have to be re-routed away from the structure.
The six-alarm blaze was reported in a mostly empty century-old building about 3:20 a.m. Wednesday. High flames and thick smoke were greatly diminished by daybreak, but the fire spread to an adjacent building and kept 90 firefighters busy all morning. The fire was declared under control shortly before noon.