Thursday, November 4, 2010
Investigators believe an overnight house fire may be the latest in a string of arson.
The fire broke out at an abandoned home in the 6900 block of W. 48th Street around 2:00 a.m. Thursday. It took firefighters about eight hours to clear the scene. The blaze was the second to happen in the same neighborhood in just days.
"I have never seen a fire that big, it was huge," said nearby resident Sally Stafford.
It was an alarming wake-up call for residents living near what was once an abandoned home. Now, it's a pile of debris.
"Scary, very scary. I walked around my whole house last night making sure nothing was on fire here," said Stafford.
What residents say is even scarier, is that fire investigators believe someone intentionally set the Thursday morning blaze, just days after another apparent arson literally yards away.
"There's been a lot of vandalism lately, and then these fires now. So, it's scary," said Stafford.
"We feel like both of them very well could have been intentionally set. And [we're] hoping we don't have somebody going on a rampage doing this," said Sedgwick County Fire Marshal Tim Millspaugh.
Both fires happened around the same time of night, in the same area. The incidents also share similar characteristics.
"They're more mischievous-type fires by kids or young adults that maybe don't have anything else to do at the time," said Millspaugh.
So, the fire department is searching for who may be behind the fires, and it's asking the public for help.
"Call in anything that you don't think seems right. If somebody's walking around at 2:00 in the morning, maybe that's not right," said Millspaugh.
That's something the department doesn't even have to ask some residents to do.
"I just kind of keep an eye on everything and everybody around here. I see a strange car, I'm calling," said Stafford.
Investigators say the two fires caused a total of about $30,000 to $35,000 in damage.
Anyone with a tip can call the Sedgwick County Fire Department, or 911.
Fire crews battling a house fire in the 6900 block of West 48th street North.
When crews arrived the home was fully engulfed in flames. When crews arrived they learned the home was vacant.
No one was hurt fighting the fire but the house is a total loss. No word yet this morning on what sparked the blaze but investigators are on the scene.