Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 14, 2013

Cause of two fires in same house remains undetermined

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — As it turns out, the two serious fires along Quevado street in north Jacksonville in the past week weren't just along the same street – they took place in the same house.

Both fires were at 1616 Quevado St., reports show. Jacksonville Fire Marshal Dennis Tate and an investigator with the state fire marshal's office combed the property with the help of a K-9 Wednesday, but after a couple of hours, could not come up with any evidence that points to any definite cause for either fire.

“Right now, we're putting this down as 'undetermined,'” Tate said. "That's probably how it's going to stay unless someone calls in who knows something or admits to something. We just couldn't find enough to stay if it started here or did this or that.”

There's no way the second fire was caused by a rekindling of the first, Tate added. The fires started on different portions of the house.

Additionally, the first fire took place on Sunday morning and the second one, at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

“There were about 43 hours in between fires,” Tate said. “So one of the things we have ruled out is anything having rekindled.”

The state fire marshal came to the same conclusion, the fire marshal said. There also is an insurance investigator looking in to the fire who was still on the scene when the other two left.

No one was home during either fire.

When Jacksonville Fire Department crews arrived at the single family residence Sunday morning they saw much smoke but no visible flames.

Fire-fighters made entry to discover a hallway on fire. At the time the damage from water and smoke was, at best, moderate.

But the second fire at the residence was devastating and completely destroyed the home. Fighting the fire tied firefighters up for hours.

Roughly nine firefighters fought the blaze using gallons upon gallons of water – so much that neighbors reported to authorities their home was being flooded.

According to the Cherokee County Ap-praisal District, the home is owned by a Jose Diaz and was last appraised at $31,280 in 2012.

A local phone number for Diaz could not immediately be located Wednes-day.