Arson Considered in Vacant House Fires

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By Sam Jones
By Benjy Jeffords

WILLIAMSON COUNTY — Crews from across Williamson County fought two house fires Tuesday night. The first started around 8:30 p.m. in Johnston City, and another broke out about two hours later on the same street. Police say both are suspicious.

The state fire marshal is working with police and fire officials to determine a cause of the fires. They've ruled out anyone making drugs in the vacant homes. Other than that, anything's a possibility. Since both homes were vacant and without power, police are considering arson.

Henry Hood lives across from the first house.

“I don't feel safe. I got cameras guarding my whole house because it's just a whole bunch of stuff goin’ on,” admitted Hood.

One of his cameras captured the fire. It shows a slight spark in a front window around 8:15 p.m. Within 20 minutes, the entire house was engulfed.

“Are you crazy, trying ta kill somebody? We all don't deserve this. We try to live in a good place, but people make it bad,” Hood explained.

Priscilla Brozowski was first to spot the fire. She ran to Hood's door and asked him to call 911, as the flames grew higher and higher only feet from where she lives.

“I’m a single mom with two babies. You know, having to run out here and having an anxiety attack was bad,” she added.

Both neighbors say it was common to see people going in and out of the house. Some claimed to be doing work, others didn't speak to them.

“That alone that made them suspicious...neither one of them having power,” Police Chief Vernon Campbell shared.

He doesn't see a threat to other homes nearby.

“They like to see vacant houses burning. They don't set fires to houses that people are living in,” he said.

That's of little comfort to Brozowski right now. It's hard to ignore the two burned homes on Burgess; charred reminders of the dangers that hit all too close to home.

“A lot of houses on this road are vacant. If someone were to cause it then there’s no telling if another house goes up or not,” she worried.

Police are stepping up patrols all across town. No one was injured in either fire.

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