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Duncan PD Investigates Suspicious House Fire

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DUNCAN Okla_ Nearly a month after a vacant Duncan home filled with a family's heirlooms was set on fire, police say Monday night in the middle of the snowstorm, a house just two doors down also caught fire.

Police said an off-duty firefighter was at a nearby gas station when he spotted smoke coming from an abandoned home and called 911. Last month's fire was ruled an arson, and this one remains under investigation. Detectives said they were able to find the ignition source in Monday night's fire: a pile of burning newspaper.

They say because it was so cold, someone could have been in the run-down home trying to keep warm. They said they can't overlook the fact that they have two mysterious fires along the same street.

Crime scene tape still surrounds the first home, after police were called to investigate a fire two weeks ago. They believe it was arson, and now they say their concerns are growing. Another house ignited Tuesday, just two doors down from the first.

"We're looking at the possibility that there is an arsonist in the area," Duncan Police Detective Bill Fitzhugh said.

Police said despite both fires being set to vacant homes, there's still a lot to lose.

"You still have other neighbors, and fire could spread to those houses," Fitzhugh said. "You're also putting firefighters' lives at risk anytime they enter a home. "They don't know what's in the house. We don't know what's in the house. It could be anything: gas, diesel, propane tanks. It could explode and injure or kill a firefighter."

Until police make an arrest, 12-year old Naomi Guajardo said she and her sisters are under strict order from their parents to be watchful and to stay away from these homes.

"They've just been telling us to be careful when we go outside," Naomi said. "Don't go near those houses or anything."

Neighbors said they have seen a suspicious man lurking near the homes. Last month, police say their was a third vacant house fire just one block from Monday's. All three remain under investigation.

 

 

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