Arson Fires Flood Memphis
Fifty arsons set so far in 2007


Updated: 04-13-2007 05:11:01 PM


STEPHANIE SCURLOCK
Courtesy of WREG-TV


MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- Living around vacant and abandoned homes is bad but living next to one that's been torched by an arsonist is even more of a concern.

Beverly McHenry, of Orange Mound, lives next to an apartment that was set on fire Wednesday evening.

McHenry said, "People coming in and out all times of the night and you might wake up and somebody is sitting on the porch."

The Orange Mound apartment is the latest arson target in Memphis. Someone came through yesterday and set it on fire. For what reason, the fire department has no idea.

Lt. Keith Staples said, "We don't who in fact if there's a group or individual that is responsible for this."

News Channel 3 obtained this list of vacant homes and apartments that have been set fire since the beginning of January. The list continues to grow. It is now at 50.

The structures: apartments and homes. Last month, there were 29 arson fires. If you're superstitious, you might think it was no accident on March 13th the arsonists struck 5 times in one day.

Staples said, "They're trying to see if there is any correlation between where the fires were set in those structures, the time of day, if there was any type of incendiary device that was used to start the fire."

Fire fighters are pleading with the public to keep an eye out on vacant properties in their neighborhoods. If you see people going in and out let them know because that may be the arsonist's next target.

A target that poses a threat to nearby homes and to fire fighters called to respond.

"There may be holes in the floors. The roof may be partially collapsed so it's a serious danger to the firefighters as they enter those structures,"said Staples.

Republished with permission of WREG-TV.

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