Quincy police make arrest in connection with Newcomb Hotel fire - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy police make arrest in connection with Newcomb Hotel fire

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Matthew C. Clark Matthew C. Clark
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

It was one of the biggest fires in Quincy's history and Monday, police have a suspect in custody in connection to the case. 

Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said 24-year-old Matthew Clark was arrested for the Newcomb Hotel fire ten days ago in Downtown Quincy.  Clark is facing charges of burglary and criminal damage over 100 thousand dollars.

Dozens of residents are still in shock when they look at this pile of rubble that once was the five story former hotel and some say they're not surprised to see an arrest so early. 

"You know not having power go into the building.  They knew there had to be some kind of link to what happened in that fire so somebody had to start it whether it be intentional or accident," said Quincy resident Charman Baxter.  

Baxter has lived in Quincy for 9 years.  She said the fact an arrest was made in the September 6th fire helps the community cope with losing such an iconic structure. 

"It was such a historic building and it meant a lot to a lot of people, so I think by them acting quickly it brought some closure to it," she said.  

At a new conference Monday, Mayor Kyle Moore said he understands there's still some anger about what happened to the Historic Newcomb hotel, but he said there's some relief that someone is being held responsible. 

"I'm happy there's some closure in the arrest part of this, certainly the core process needs to play out but there was a lot of rumors about what the cause was and now the public can learn that," he said.  

The arrest came just 10 days after the fire and even Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley is surprised how quickly they were able to make an arrest. 

"I did think that it would probably take longer than a week and here we are just a little over a week and at the arrest phase so I am a little bit surprised," Copley said.

It is still not known if Clark set the fire intentionally or if it was an accident.  Copley said despite the arrest, the investigation into what exactly happened continues.  

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