Fires Strike Near Previous Arsons

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

Investigators are sifting through the rubble, trying to find a cause while the Red Cross is working to help the family with food and shelter.

Meanwhile, there's one thing on everyone's mind. These fires are incredibly close to previous arsons. A woman, her son, and niece fled a home just in time, saving their lives, but losing everything else.

Shirley Harris, next door neighbor, said, "I just hate it for her because she's lost everything and I don't know what to tell you except well, it could be us next, who knows?"

Neighbors have cause for concern. They are surrounded by burned out crime scenes.

Investigators say there were a total of at least three arsons at that bar across the street. Another house has been labeled a suspicious fire as well back in 2002. Also at this warehouse was an arson, and they are investigating a total of 10 arsons in the past six or seven years. That does not even include the house they are looking at right now.

Three arsons at a bar on 98, a warehouse arson, a shed arson, a suspicious house fire and then the two fires Tuesday night marked five and six on the map. That's how close these are to each other.

Investigators are cautiously concerned.

Joe Steadman, State Fire Marshal Lieutenant, said, "I think naturally any time that you have multiple fires in any one area it's going to cause a heightened level of awareness and a heightened level of concern."

In the meantime, the family who lived here is now hoping friends and relatives can help them start their lives over. Deputies say the family's home was not insured.

Even though no one knows yet whether these fires are connected to the 10 arson cases, deputies are going door-to-door asking neighbors too keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

The numbers to call are 888-NO-ARSON or 850-926-0848.


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