MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Mobile Fire-Rescue is investigating two vacant house fires in Mobile in just two days. The latest caused quite a bit of damage.
Three houses on Elmira Street were effected by a blaze Wednesday night.
Fire officials were out through Thursday morning, trying to figure out what caused the fire. A house that was under renovation was destroyed. Two others were damaged.
"I was inside working on my computers and I heard an explosion, heard it a couple of times. When I came outside, stepped outside, I noticed that the house on the south side of me was on fire," said Lee Franks, whose house was also damaged in the blaze. "It was burning so we called the fire department. I took them about six or seven minutes to get here. By that time it was fully engulfed."
"I am not able to live in my home. One of the reasons my home is damaged is because the houses are so close the firemen couldn't get between the two. To put out this fire, they had to go through my house," added Franks.
There have been 27 arson house fires in the Oakleigh neighborhood since 2009. If Wednesday night's blaze pans out to be arson as well, that will make it number 28.
"The thing we know right now is that this house was not owned by the same person that owned most of the other houses that burned. So we do know that much because they came to the scene and said it's not ours," said Steve Huffman with Mobile Fire-Rescue. "Our business, we have to get all the facts. We can't go with 'I think' or 'I assume.' It has to be cold hard facts. And that's what they're working toward right now."
The Red Cross is in the area helping folks displaced. Fire officials are investigating Wednesday night's fires.