Arson suspected in dorm fires

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) Arson is now suspected in the Humes Hall fire investigation.

And the "fire watch" patrols inside that UT women's dormitory keep going.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman was back on campus today and has the latest.

UT Freshman and Humes Hall resident Mary Brandon says, "I really hope that they catch them and whoever it is gets correct punishment, because it's not fair for us who live here."

More than five-hundred residents, one building, and one big question are making this week's fires at Humes Hall number one priority.

Captain Brent Seymour with the Knoxville Fire Department says, "that it's on-going. It's certainly right now the top priority of the investigation unit."

Right now arson is a consideration.

Seymour says, "they are putting the two fires together trying to see if they're related. The second fire, we do consider to be arson. The first fire is under investigation."

And as the search for resolution continues, the "fire watch" patrols roll on around the clock.

Seymour continues, "UT Police has four personnel inside the dorm 24-hours a day. At this time, at least, through the end of the week or until our investigative unit comes up with an origin and cause makes a determination and puts resolution to the matter."

The patrols and last night's question and answer session between students and UT officials help take off some of the edge.

Brandon says, "I feel a lot safer. Every time you walk in, there's police. There are police patrolling all the halls and it made us feel a lot safer."

Now despite the fire watch still in full effect and the added security, some students still have that fear factor in the backs of their minds.

UT Freshman and Humes Hall resident Beth Pressley says, "It's really scary. Like you almost don't want to go to sleep."

All UT police are saying today is that they are all engaged with keeping students safe and helping in the investigation.


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