Officials call morning fires in Saginaw "suspicious" - WNEM TV 5

Officials call morning fires in Saginaw "suspicious"

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It was a busy morning for firefighters in Saginaw Tuesday. Crews battled two fires in the same neighborhood. They are calling the fires "suspicious."

"I thought I was dreaming at first when I seen the fire. I'm like (gasp)," said Rachelle Barnes. She got a rude awaking this morning after Saginaw firefighters arrived at a vacant house on Hamilton at 6 a.m. right across the street from her home.

"You could see the fire shooting out the side window at the top right there. I'm like. 'oh my goodness,'" said Barnes. "The whole corner was blocked off with fire trucks. But nobody's stayed in that house for a couple of months," Barnes added.

After just 10 minutes on the scene, crews got word about another fire on Michigan Avenue just a few blocks away. This one also at a vacant building... a former restaurant.

"A second call came in for La Placita with flames coming through the roof. So, we broke a crew loose and had them respond," recalled Captain James Chamney Saginaw Fire Department. Deputy fire Marshall Ralph Martin said the neighborhood is becoming all too familiar with suspicious fires. "Halloween night we had a fire right there. That's why I'm getting suspicious."

Workers wasted no time to board up the house on Hamilton to keep people out. Meanwhile fire investigators say they've been to this area so many times they'll be keeping a closer watch on it to find out how these fires are getting started.

"This area has been targeted for quite a few different fires. So, that's kind of suspicious in itself. Hopefully, neighbors will keep an eye out and if they know anything, anybody hear anything, we would appreciate any type of information," said Marshall.

Barnes is convinced the fire across the street from her was set intentionally and she can't understand why.

"This is a nice neighborhood. Why would someone go over there and set the house on fire?" said Barnes. Investigators are still working to determine exactly how the fires started. No word yet on whether they believe the two fires are connected.

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