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Two vehicles were destroyed when vandalism turned to arson

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LAWTON, Okla._The search for an arsonist is underway after a family's car was set ablaze Saturday night.

Just after 10:00 p.m. Saturday, firefighters were called to a neighborhood just south of the Great Plains Technology Center at southwest 44th Street and Rosemary Way. There, homeowners told firefighters a neighbor frantically knocked on their door to alert them that their car was on fire. Fire investigators have ruled the fire arson and believe the fire culprit may be responsible for egging the couple's home earlier that night.

In the two hours between the times one of the homeowners arrived home and the fire erupted, they say someone egged their home. Jeremy Franklin and his wife have been racking their brain to think of a reason why someone would target their home and vehicle, but they can't think of anything. They say the worse part wasn't losing their car, instead it's feeling unsafe in their own home. 

"I never thought that someone could have done this because it is such a bad and immoral thing for someone to do," said Jeremy Franklin, victim of the arson.

For the Fort Sill soldier and his family, Saturday night brought an unwelcome chain of events.

"My wife called me hysterically that our vehicle was ablaze," recalled Franklin.

Now only the charred remains of a vehicle are left in the driveway that his family relied on everyday.

"Now the vehicle that my son relies on to get to school and that we use to get groceries for him is a total loss," said Franklin.

And the damage didn't stop there. The blaze got so hot it quickly spread to his Jeep parked next to the car and then into the neighbor's yard. Even worse the family feared the blaze would destroy their home.

"I actually thought that due to the proximity of the car to the overhanging of my garage I thought my house was going to be a total loss as well," said Franklin.

Firefighters said this fire is especially suspicious because of the damage to only the front and back of the vehicle showing that two fires were set.

That paired with the smashed eggs covering his front yard makes Franklin feel it was a targeted crime.

"Somebody had it out for someone in this neighborhood. I cannot tell if it was just me or maybe it was mistaken identity," said Franklin.

He's urging anyone that saw or heard anything to speak up.

"If anyone hears or gets wind of anybody putting information out there that they contact the authorities so that we can have those responsible brought to justice so this doesn't happen to another family," pleaded Franklin.

Witnesses told police they saw a dark colored truck leaving the area just after the incident but authorities do not have any definite leads. If you have any information about this crime, contact Crime Stoppers at 355-INFO.

Lawton Fire Marshal, Mark Mitchell, says that they will continue to investigate the incident to determine how and where exactly the fires were started. 

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