An investigation into the circumstances of two fires Sunday night is ongoing in Wilson.


An investigation into the circumstances of two fires Sunday night is ongoing in Wilson.

 

The Wilson Fire and Police Departments responded to reports of two fires set within five minutes of each other at midnight Sunday on 7th Street. Both fires were structural, set at houses that were vacant. State Fire Marshal Judah Shepherd is investigating the fires and had no comment other than to say they are under investigation.  The fires were the second and third within the last two weeks set on structures that were abandoned within city limits. James Burris was given a citation for a fire that he set on Birch Street a week earlier.

 

“I’m very concerned,” Wilson Police Chief Felix Hernandez said. “If one of these houses is close to another house and it goes up in flames, people could get hurt. We want to put a stop to it and we have just been fortunate. We are actively pursuing an investigation into who started the fire.”

 

The fire at Ash and 7th Street completely engulfed a home that has been vacant since its former occupants moved to Tennessee. The fire at Ada and 7th Street took a structure that was in disrepair and leveled it. Two different people owned the homes and neither appear to have been insured, according to Hernandez, who said the two fires set minutes apart were not by coincidence.

 

“In my opinion, it was probably the same person,” he said. “There were two fires, five minutes apart practically on the same street.”