Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

July 23, 2013

Two houses/two fires, $29,000 in damages

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville firefighters believe a vacant residence in the 1100 block of Tyler Street might have been set on fire deliberately early Sunday.

The fire is one of two that broke out in Jacksonville early Sunday morning.  No one was injured in either blaze, which caused a total of $29,000 in damage.

The first fire took place at a house at 1115 Tyler Street. This house is in the general vicinity of Jacksonville High School, reports show.

By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had already burned through portions of the back door of the residence, into the kitchen, up to the attic and even the roof,  Jacksonville Fire Chief Paul White said.

Investigators were unable to immediately locate the cause of the blaze but intend to continue their investigation, White said.

“We do, right now, definitely consider this fire suspicious,” Chief White said.

Authorities believe the second fire was accidental. That blaze broke out at 305 Park Lane  about 9:16 a.m. Sunday.

The home's owner was outside the house when the fire started. Inside his home, he had converted a substantial portion of garage space into a “man cave” (a clubhouse of sorts).

Once the “man cave” caught on fire,  it took firefighters a lot of unexpected time to locate the heat source so they could quell it, explained Jacksonville City Manager Mo Raissi,

“The firefighters had to use their imaging devices to locate the source of the heat,” Raissi said.

The fire damage caused during the second fire was roughly $4,000, reports show.