Arson confirmed in Apple Ridge Way house fires

Oct. 01, 2013 @ 11:41 PM

The city’s fire investigator has confirmed that last week’s set of five fires that happened in one night along a single road were intentionally set.

City Fire Marshal Tommy White had initially suspected arson as the cause of the fires on Apple Ridge Way, and Monday he confirmed that was the case.

“In light of evidence collected at the scene and the subsequent investigation to date, it is apparent that the five house fires were set intentionally,” White said.

The fires all started in unoccupied homes at about 3:45 a.m. The first blaze was initially reported to 911 dispatchers as a brush fire, but when firefighters got to the scene they found a house already engulfed in flame. While they were present, fires started at another home.

At that time, firefighters reported the flames didn’t appear to spread by moving through trees or through ash falling from one fire onto another house. They appeared to start independently of each other.

The city is not releasing additional information on the investigation right now, other than to say it is still ongoing.

The fires destroyed the first home, while the rest suffered fire, smoke and water damage, officials said.

It took about 60 firefighters from six local agencies to control the fires, but no injuries were reported.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com