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$5,000 reward offered for tips in Monday arson in Independence Twp.

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Independence Township — A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the conviction of the person who set fires in a weight loss center Monday, officials said. 

Oakland County deputies and firefighters were called about 7 a.m. to the Express Weight Loss and Wellness at 6647 Dixie Highway near Maybee Road for a waterflow alarm, the sheriff's office said.

They saw water flowing out of the business' front door an smelled smoke, according to authorities.

Deputies found the back door had been pried open. They also found signs that a fire in a corner near the back entrance had been extinguished. Upon further investigation, officials found evidence that three fires in the building had been set and then extinguished. 

Investigators also reviewed the business' security video footage and saw a person in the building, spraying lighter fluid down the hallway floor and igniting it. During the investigation, they learned two laptop computers were taken from the business.

They also reviewed footage from cameras at neighboring businesses and saw two people walking in front and behind the building at the time of the incident. The footage also showed one of the people with a laptop and a bottle of lighter fluid leaving the scene.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Detroit Arson Commission at (800) 443-7766 or log on to its website.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez