Update: Homeless Suspected in 2 Weekend House Fires

Knoxville (WVLT) - For the second time in two months, two abandoned houses in East Knoxville have fallen victim to fire.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford takes a look at these fires and what responsibilities owners have for protecting their property.

Mark, the Knoxville Fire Department tells us no one was inside either home on Linden Avenue and MLK when crews arrived at each house early Sunday morning.

They say both homes were broken into and they're trying to track down the home owners and figure out how these fires were started.

"These buildings were secure, and at some point in time, someone forced entry in and set a fire in there," says Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Milsaps.

Crews responded to the first fire on MLK just after 4:30 Sunday morning, by the time crews arrive on the scene flames are through the roof.

A few blocks away and just a short time later, another two-story vacant home on Linden Avenue went up in flames, gutting pretty much the entire house.

"The cause and effect of the fire seems to be similar in nature. We haven't determined yet whether this was accomplished by the same person or not, or group of people," Knoxville's Deputy Fire Marshall Joe Milsaps says arson investigators are trying to figure out who did this and how. "It's rather uncommon for buildings so close together to be struck like that."

Both houses caught fire for the second time in two months.

"They did find a place and knew possibly that place might be secured and they could find easy entry into that place," Milsaps says vacant property owners must secure every spot on the building they can think of.

"We would recomment them putting plywood over the door openings and the window openings and fasten it as securely as possible." 21:18 "That's the owners responsibility to secure his properties."

And if they don't?

"If the costs are passed onto the city to secure the building, then the city passes along those costs to that owner."

Investigators are still looking for the owners of both homes.

"If we can't find the owners, the building is brought before the Better Building Bureau and they will have the building secured and/or demolished, whatever the case may be."

KFD asks that you call 911 if you notice suspicious activity around any abandoned homes in your neighborhood. They say that call could prevent a fire that could spread to residential homes nearby.


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