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GASTONCOUNTY, N.C. -- Gaston County Police have made an arrest in the massive fire that ripped through a strip mall in Gaston County early in the morning of March 14.

Fred Anderson Phillips, Jr., 52, of Gastonia, is charged with burning a building, warehouse or factory and malicious use of incendiary material.

The investigation into the fire at Gunn's Mini Mall on Old York Road near Grier Street took a turn when Phillips was developed into a suspect during an investigation into an unrelated domestic case.

Officials say during his interview Phillips disclosed his involvement in the fire.

(Click to see images from the scene of the fire)

There were no reported injuries during the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Gaston County Fire Investigations Task Force.

Phillips is also facing assault by strangulation on the unrelated domestic investigation. He's held in the Gaston County Jail on a $20,000 bond.


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