For the third time in 11 days, authorities are investing a suspicious fire in Dubuque as a possible arson.

Dubuque firefighters responded to 904 Merz St. at about 6:50 a.m. Tuesday, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Esser.

They found a small fire in a back room of the residence, which was unoccupied and under renovation. Fire crews extinguished the fire within four minutes. It caused an estimated $300 to $500 worth of damage, Esser said.

County property records list Michael J. Vaupel, of Farley, Iowa, as the property owner. However, a Dubuque Police Department incident report lists Braxton’s Construction, of Dubuque, as a victim.


Esser said the cause of the fire is undetermined but deemed suspicious, and it is under investigation.

Dubuque authorities last week also were investigating as possible arson fires reported on May 8 and 9.

Police have said the two fires do not appear connected. And Esser said Tuesday’s fire does not appear linked to the previous fires.

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