Two suspicious fires on CR 5310

Willow Springs Fire Department responded to two reports of fire on the same road last week – both of which are deemed suspicious. 
“It was not the same location, but the same group of people,” Interim Fire Chief Alan Lewis said.
On May 28, WSFD and mutual aid departments gave a massive response to a structure fire at a vacant house with no electricity connected on County Road 5310, Lewis explained. They used “tens of thousands of gallons of water” to attempt to extinguish the blaze but could not put it out. Personnel from Eleven Point, Pumpkin Center, and Pomona fought the fire for two hours until a control time was called, according to the incident report. The fire consumed the basement, first floor, and roof of the structure. 
“After coordinating with the State Fire Investigator and the property occupants, it was decided to facilitate a controlled burn of the structure,” the report reads. 
For a home that was supposedly vacant and unoccupied, this is a suspicious circumstance. The WSFD contacted the State Fire Marshal’s office and an investigation is ongoing. 
The following day, WSFD returned to CR 5310 at 5:30 p.m. for another fire, also suspicious. This was a fire started on the exterior wall of a mobile home.
“The fire started in the middle of the exterior wall with no apparent source,” Int. Chief Lewis said. Heat had been applied directly to the exterior of the wall, and there were no nearby electrical sources that could have explained the blaze.
The property resident was able to contain the fire, and WSPD used thermal imaging to ensure there was no additional danger. 
The State Fire Marshal’s office is also conducting an investigation on this fire. 
This is the third fire at a vacant, unoccupied structure unconnected to utilities since December 2023. Int. Chief Lewis could not comment on whether the fires are in any way related. The State Fire Marshal’s office was not available prior to press time. 
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Howell County News

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