MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

August 4, 2013

Clues sought in three arsons

Vacant houses torched within six days last month

Officials are asking for the public’s help in solving three cases of arson over a seven-day period in July.

Fire Marshal Ray Bob Daniels said none of the houses was occupied when they caught on fire, and none had electricity or other utilities functioning.

“And I don’t believe they are connected in any way,” Daniels said. “I have no leads at all on two of the fires.”

The first was July 11 at 511 Kankakee St., the second July 15 at 302 Baltimore St. and the third July 17 at 1506 Ellsworth St.

The fire on Ellsworth Street began about 12:45 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, the house was fully involved, with flames coming out of every window and through the roof.

“The damage was so bad, the fire could have been started in multiple places,” Daniels said.

No one lived in the house, but the homeowner was doing repairs at the time, he said.

The fire on Baltimore Street burned the front porch and living room of the house.

Firefighters received the call on that fire at 12:20 a.m.

Daniels went to the house to investigate the next day, and found that the fire appeared to start on the porch and in the living room, he said.

It was a rental house, but the last tenants had moved out a week or two earlier and no utilities were on, Daniels said.

The fire on Kankakee Street was also a house under repair, he said. The Fire Department received the call on it about 2:50 a.m.

A man who was purchasing the house had been staying in a hotel for a while and was not at the house, Daniels said, so it too didn’t have utilities on.

An investigation determined that the fire started inside the house, nowhere near an ignition source, he said.

Anyone with information about these fires is asked to call the Muskogee Fire Department, (918) 687-5483, or Muskogee Police Department, (918) 683-8000, Daniels said.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

You can help

Anyone with information about the July 11 fire at 511 Kankakee St., the July 15 fire at 302 Baltimore St., or the July 17 fire at 1506 Ellsworth St. is asked contact the Muskogee Fire Department, (918) 687-5483 or Muskogee Police Department, (918) 683-8000.

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