Suspicious downtown fires unnerve college community

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The word "suspicious" has been used 57 times since 2003, and five times in the last month alone, to describe the source of house fires in downtown Charleston. College-aged students renting in the area are becoming unnerved.

"You want to have a good night sleep," says College of Charleston senior Kyle Cook. "But at the same time you got in the back of your head there's an arsonist running around."

In some cases, more than before, the downtown Charleston community is on edge especially those renting similar homes to the one that caught fire on cannon street like Chris Toussant.

"As a college student you're not really prepared to deal with these kind of things yet," Toussant said. "You've been under your parents watch for so long, if something like this ever happened I don't know what we would do."

And his thoughts are shard by Cook, who lives just a few blocks away but is still feeling the heat.

"This place would be really easy to set on fire," said Cook, motioning toward the house he has been renting for the last year.

Cook has spent the last four years at different houses downtown and he says as a renter he's constantly reminded of the ongoing fire problem.

"Our landlord told us no furniture on the porch," Cook said. "They can take a match throw it up there and the house is gone."

Both students say they have checked smoke alarms and made sure their homes are as safe as possible, but they also both agree it is a guessing game where the next fire will spark.

Related Story

Copyright 2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.