'Suspicious' Fire Damages Two Arkansas Homes

Aug. 28--Fort Smith firefighters returned on Wednesday to the scene of a fire that was reported Aug. 20 as a suspected arson.

About 12:11 a.m., firefighters responded to a vacant residence at 3227 Russell St. to a fire that had broken out. The first responding unit could see flames emerging from behind the rear of the structure, where a fire was located in an area of a carport in between the house and another home at 3227 1/2 Russell St., said Battalion Chief Mark Talley with the Fort Smith Fire Department.

Firefighters had most of the fire knocked out by the time Battalion Chief Tery Graves, who was on duty at the time, got to the scene. Because firefighters previously had responded to a small, suspicious fire at the same residence, Graves asked Fire Marshal Carey St. Cyr to investigate, Talley said.

"It was the same house, the same place," Talley said. "Usually when you get two fires in the same place, it's suspicious."

The residents at 3227 1/2 reported seeing flames coming from the carport area. No injuries were reported, Talley said.

Structural damage was estimated at $30,000. The fire destroyed the carport and damaged both homes, Talley said.

Red Cross came out to assist the residents whose home the fire damaged, Talley said.

An investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2014 - Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.