EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSARSON INVESTIGATION UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Investigators Believe West Side Home Set On Fire Second Time
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Mamie Buoy
Reported: Oct. 14, 2012 10:37 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 15, 2012 5:41 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Investigators believe a West Side home was set on fire two nights in a row.
The first fire sparked early Sunday morning in the front of a home on Walnut Street, and then another blaze broke out about 2 a.m. Monday in the back of the house.
Investigators said the home was vacant, and no utilities were hooked up. Three months, ago, the home next door caught fire.
Charleston Fire Department Capt. Ken Tyree said neighbors are understandably worried after these recent fires. Neighbors said a woman had just moved out of the home last week.
People who live in one west side community are afraid of another arson striking their neighborhood.
"I'm scared for my kids' life." Crystal Blackwell now lives in fear. The home across the street from where she lives on Walnut Street caught fire. And according to investigators, it wasn't an accident.
"What's my house next or the neighbors' closer to me," Blackwell said. And that's what has Crystal and her husband on edge. Early Sunday morning, the Walnut Street home was consumed by flames, gutting the upstairs.
Investigators say the home was vacant and no utilities were hooked up. That is leading them to believe someone is responsible.
"I'm an adult and I can handle myself. But when you're putting my kids in danger that gets to me," said neighbor, Eric Pence. Pence says he is now worried about his family's safety. He's also living a similar nightmare because just three months ago, the home next door also caught fire. All that is left are ashes and rubble.
"You've got situations like this and I just don't like my kids seeing these situations," Pence said.
Investigators are still digging deeper into how the fire could have happened. But for now, it's a scary reminder for this family. They're left wondering if another home will be targeted.
"If they're going to go around setting a bunch of vacant houses on fire especially on a hill like this with all the old houses, that just lets you know they don't have regard for anyone or nothing," said Pence.
The Charleston Fire Department is investigating a possible arson on the West Side.
Firefighters say the fire broke out at a vacant house in the 1600 block of Frame Street around 1:30 Sunday morning.
Nobody got hurt, but the house was destroyed.
Investigators say there were no gas lines or electrical lines hooked up to the house and they believe it could have been intentionally set.
Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.
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