PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Three fires began in Pine Bluff on Saturday night and all occured within three hours. The incidents have given homeowners a flashback to a string of arson from seven years ago. The Pine Bluff Fire Department, again, suspects arson.
"So far there have been five vacant structure fires for the month of January," said Assistant Fire Marshall Randy Compton.
The first was on West Short 2nd Street; the second on West 16th Avenue; and the third on Rose Street.
"All three of these structures were vacant and abandoned structures," Compton said.
From 2006 to 2007, the Pine Bluff Fire Department handled more than 200 cases of arson. Community member Tiffany Jones said it's something she doesn't want her neighborhood to have to go through again. Mac DeMone was home when he heard the commotion over on West Short 2nd and looked outside.
"Around here in Pine Bluff, we got a whole bunch of misguided youth, you know what I'm sayin'?" he said. "This neighborhood needs a lot of reconstruction and cleaning up due to the lack of jobs and things like that."
He said with intoxicated people roaming the city on the weekends, it's possible the three fires may not have even been related.
Assistant Fire Marshall Compton says he hasn't been in contact with the home owners yet. Tiffany Jones lives just down the street from the 16th street house. She said juveniles could be to blame but she had other suspicions as well.
"Some people be trying to get the insurance money or something," she said.
"My opinion- the town too broke to have a lot of insurance policies, you know what I'm sayin?" said DeMone.
"All in all, we tryin' to do better as far as the city, making sure that things don't happen like that anymore," Jones said.
The Fire Department has not yet spoken with the owners of the homes. They plan to work closely with police on investigating the cause and asks that the public contact them with any additional information.