MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department said an investigation revealed that two different house fires along Elmira street were the work of an arsonist.
Both occurred in less than 7 days. The MFRD said the first fire at the corner of Elmira and Marine streets burned one occupied house and two others nearby on March 13.
The fire shares several qualities with one set at a vacant structure a few blocks away on March 16.
The fires are just two at least 30 structure fires in the area over a one year period.
"I can certainly understand the fear because, one by one, these vacant houses are being taken down," said Steve Huffman with the Fire Department. "But what our main concern is the people who live in that neighborhood."
During the March 13 fire, officials said a house having work done was set ablaze and spread to homes on both sides. FOX10 spoke to a homeowner who escaped after his house caught fire.
"Sounded like someone was beating on the side of my house, and I got off the phone," said Lee Franks. "When I came outside, the door I saw the house was ablaze next door."
Franks' home, which he bought and renovated in the 80s, suffered structural damage.
Luckily, no one was injured in the fire.
Many In the neighborhood didn't want to speak out of fear of the arsonist.
Some, like Franks, said he will not be forced out of his neighborhood and would like to see the arsonist or arsonists caught.
"If the individual would just stop before someone gets injured or someone loses their life or maybe they'll get caught and go to prison," Franks said. "If that's what it takes to stop it then, hey."
Investigators are asking anyone with information about these and other fires to please call the Arson Hotline at 208-MFRD, the Bureau of Fire Prevention at 208-7484 or you can leave information on Twitter @arsontip.
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