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Lawton Fire Marshals Investigate String of Arsons

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LAWTON Okla_ Lawton Fire Marshals are investigating a string of arsons on the east side, particularly the Sullivan Village neighborhood.

Over the past two weeks, investigators have been called to four separate arsons, two of them at the same home. Investigators say the first was at an abandoned home along Southeast 38th Street, and then later that same afternoon, another in an open field, about a mile away, just east of Flowermound.

Then last week, investigators were called to another abandoned house fire near SE 41st and Elmhurst. They were called there twice, after the arsonist returned a day later.

During last Friday's arson, investigators chased down a teen that was in the area, but they don't believe he had anything to do with the fires. Now, investigators say they believe the same people are responsible for the arsons and suspect it's the work of juveniles.

Assistant Lawton Fire Marshal Michael Wright said his department has been working around the clock investigating one arson after another.

"It's a two-story home, and they set two separate fires up stairs," Wright said. "While we were finishing up on that fire, a call came in of a grass fire in an open field directly behind the structure. A vacant structure burned and one day later, it burned a second time."

Wright said all the fires erupted at abandoned homes and an abandoned lot. He said it was apparent no one had been there for some time and said that can attract mischief.

"If it doesn't have a ‘For rent' or ‘For sale' sign where people probably know it's going to be vacant, if people maintain their homes to make it look like someone's there, then it gives them less chance that someone is going to break in or realize the structure is vacant," Wright said.

Wright said while they don't know who the arsonists are, they do know they're bold. He said it's a matter of time before they're caught.

"We want the neighbors to keep their eyes out on those structures," Wright said. "The folks we believe are going in and setting those fires are going in broad daylight," Wright said. "So, we need those folks to call 911 when they see something suspicious."

Wright said the owner of the home that burned twice was able to stomp out the second fire, after he went to the home to inspect the damage from the first one. Both homes sustained around $15,000-$20,000 in damage.

 

 

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