Small Town News


Arson is suspected in 3 weekend fires

DeWitt Era-Enterprise of DeWitt, Arkansas

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The DeWitt Police Department is investigating the possibility of arson in three fires last weekend.

The DeWitt Fire Department was called to the first two fires, at a commercial building on Cedar Street and at two abandoned houses at the intersection of May and Gibson streets, at 2:43 a.m. Friday. All three buildings are owned by Walter Gibson Jr.

The fire at the commercial site was determi ned to be in an office chair placed near the front door. Gibson and one firefighter put out that fire with buckets of water.

The fire at May and Gibson streets spread to the house next door on May Street. Firefighters roused the residents, Charles and Joyce Chambers, and they escaped the house, but it was considered a total loss. The fire also caused severe damage to the vinyl siding on the house across Gibson Street, owned by Sherry Hobbs. The fire was finally contained at 3:26 a.m.

Fire Department spokesman Bill Paxton said the fire was suspicious because the abandoned houses did not have gas or electricity.

Arson is also suspected in a fire in an unoccupied mobile home at 1414 Lee Street Sunday at 12:50 a.m. That mobile home, owned by Dee London, also had no gas or electricity connections. The mobile home was totally destroyed.

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Original Publication Date: January 7, 2010

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