Law Office Fire Started With Car

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The mystery centers around a car that was parked behind the law offices of Ledman, Hamm, and Lord on Jenks Avenue.

Fire officials say that's where the fire began. Attorney Tom Ledman and his associates have spent all day picking up the pieces, just hours after a fire completely destroyed their law offices.

Tom Ledman says, “Well, it’s been a tough day, it’s been a very difficult day, but we're dealing with it.”

Police and fire officials say overnight a car was parked behind the building and somehow that car caught on fire. The blaze then spread to the offices, going up the vinyl siding, tearing through the attic and eventually gutting the building.

Several individuals could of been involved and authorities did talk to the owner of the car, but so far there's been no criminal investigation.

Lt. Jimmy Talley with the Panama City Fire Department says, “We are awaiting for results at the lab at this time and we are questioning some people. However, all we're doing is questioning. We're not naming any suspects.”

Panama City police say if the state fire marshal says the fire is arson, they will begin their investigation. No one was hurt in the fire, but most of the contents inside the building have been lost, crippling the law firm.

Ledman says, “We really appreciate everyone in the legal community who’s offered us space and legal assistance and staff assistance and that sort of thing.”

Ledman says if things work out with the insurance company, he hopes to start rebuilding soon and be back in business within six to eight months. Ledman estimates losses of almost $200,000.