Third home burns in string of suspicious fires

Two Colleton Co. house fires under investigation
Published: Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2013 at 2:07 PM EST
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WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - Colleton County fire officials have confirmed that another vacant structure has caught fire in Walterboro. Monday night's fire is the third fire reported in three days within a small area in Walterboro.

The fire at 205 N. Poplar St. destroyed a home Monday night. Officials say the house was vacant and power had been cut off for at least a few months.

The State Law Enforcement Division and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office are also investigating another fire along Popular Street and one along Edgewood Street. Those fires happened about four hours apart at homes located a block from each other Friday.

Residents say it didn't take long for the house to burn down.

"It went so fast. It was nothing but like a fat lighter home," said Billy Martin, who lives on Poplar Street.

While firefighters fought the fire on Poplar Street, a second house fire was reported a block away on Edgewood Street.

That house also was destroyed. Investigators determined both fires were suspicious.

"It's real scary here right now with somebody running around burning houses," Martin said.

Chris Day lives across the street from the home that burned on Poplar Street. He shares his neighbor's concerns.

"I'm concerned because it's probably going to happen again because we have a bunch of gangs running around here," Day said.

A spokeswoman for the Colleton County Sheriff's Office tells us so far there is no evidence that gangs are responsible for the fires.

"I'll tell you the neighborhood went bad. All these gangs running around and stuff, and you just don't never know," added Martin.

The sheriff's office is calling both blazes suspicious because both houses were vacant.

"I've been having a hard time sleeping at night. I got up every couple of hours to make sure no one's around," Day said.

Anyone with information on the fires is asked to call the state's arson hotline at 1-800-92-ARSON.

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