Arson Suspected After Grayson Co. Homes Burn - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Arson Suspected After Grayson Co. Homes Burn

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- People in one neighborhood are concerned after fires on two separate days destroyed several vacant homes in the past week, and firefighters believe someone set the fires.

The fires started in unoccupied houses which firefighters did not have any electricity turned on, yet still they managed to burn down, and for this neighborhood, the apparent arsons are an ongoing problem.

The sight of a flames drew residents from their homes in the middle of the night on Allen A. Dale Drive on Dec. 20, as two vacant homes burned around 2 a.m. "I looked up and all I could see was orange," says neighbor Tina Felder.

"I heard screaming, and when I came out of the house and went down there, there was a lady screaming because her house was fixing to catch on fire," says neighbor Andy Riddels.

Then on Tuesday around 9 p.m., after the Christmas snow fell, another unoccupied trailer burned a couple blocks away on Will Stutley Drive at Nottingham Drive.

"I stopped and talk to him after he purchased it, and no he didn't have much in here," says neighbor Dustin Jones. Sherwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Bilderback says the owner has not yet been located.

In all the cases, Bilderback says the houses are vacant, often owned by someone out of town, or in the family. "It was her mother's place she was storing basically her books, china, things that were real personal," says Bilderback, referring to one of the fires on Allen A. Dale Drive.

Bilderback says there have been about 30 suspicious fires in Sherwood Shores just since he started with the department in 2007, and now firefighters are worried because they seem to be happening more often.

"Our timeline is getting closer and closer together, where we were having fires a month apart and now we're having them six or seven days apart," says Bilderback.

One concern is the fire could spread to an occupied home, and that nearly happened during last week's fires. "This whole place over here was on fire and over there," says Felder.

Near her carport, Felder's wheelbarrow wheel burned, and she was afraid the fire would get to her house.

"The winds were in the 30 mile an hour range, so we were having embers blow two blocks," says Grayson County Fire Marshal Kevin Walton.

"There are a lot of people in this community that are getting really worried and starting to fear for their lives," says Sherwood Shores Fire Captain Joe Winner.

Fire officials say any evidence that might help determine who is setting the fires burns up, and that residents near vacant buildings need to watch out. They hope that will help bring these fires to an end.