Walters plagued with suspicious fires

Published: Feb. 20, 2014 at 10:20 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2014 at 4:14 PM CST
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WALTERS, Okla._Police in Walters are investigating a series of suspicious fires that have happened in a three square block of the town.

The most recent fire damaged a house Tuesday night and that brings the total to five this month alone. Authorities are still investigating what, and possibly who, may have started the fires. One concerned citizen, who lives in the middle of that block, says he worries his house could be next.

Jason Coombs, whose uncle, Jimmy Coombs owns all of the damaged property, suspects there's a connection between the recent fires and another house that caught fire last August, "I think somebody is lighting them up. Maybe they have a grudge against one of us or possibly my uncle. We had someone living in them houses, some things happened between them, they didn't pay rent and he got kicked out."

Since February began, five fires have been started in the same area, three this week alone. February 3rd, a vacant house catches on fire and 5 days later, another house catches fire again and burns to the ground.

"On Saturday on the 8th it lit up again and burnt completely to the ground," said Coombs and he's convinced that it's not a coincidence.

February 16th, a house was nearly destroyed before firefighters arrived and one day later on, a van no less than 15 feet away from Jason's house catches fire.

There was yet another fire one day later. Coombs is hopeful that the person responsible will be caught, "Then the next night house...the house right directly beside it that lights on fire and you can see the damage to that. It's pretty bad the damage on that also. I mean we think we know who is doing it but they haven't caught him yet as far as we know."

Jason says that these fires freak him out, "Whoever it is, it's crazy, and if he is crazy enough to light these houses on fire right directly beside us and a van that's 15 feet away what else would he do."

Now, not only does Jason's uncle, Jimmy Coombs own the property that has been in those fires, those properties are also foreclosed on. At least two of the properties were supposed to be included in a sheriff's sale on March 3rd.

All of the properties that have caught fire are under investigation as suspicious fires. Authorities say they are still searching for those responsible. No arrests have been made but authorities said they aren't ruling anyone out.