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Residents on edge over string of suspicious fires

June 19, 2013 4:34:36 PM PDT
Suspicious house fires in one southeast Houston neighborhood have residents on edge. Whoever is setting them appears to be targeting vacant houses. The latest fire happened Tuesday night on Fairland near Dulcrest.

At a burned out home on Chesterfield, the windows are blown out, the roof has collapsed and everything inside the single family home is a burned-out mess.

"I don't like what I'm seeing," said a concerned neighbor.

It's a similar scene one street over on Fairland, where fire destroyed another house. Everything there is gone too -- nothing left but charred debris. Neighbors say they're getting worried and they want some answers.

The neighbor told Eyewitness News, "It's three fires started, and we don't have any idea how it started, or what's going on. But right now I am afraid for me and my family."

The woman, who didn't want to share her name, says this community is filled with elderly neighbors who are calling the fires suspicious. They say firefighters were called out to this area several times this week. And in each case they say flames shot dangerously close to neighboring homes.

She said, "All the neighbors are trying to figure it out. What can we do? How can we protect ourselves?"

Some neighbors tell Eyewitness News they suspect squatters may be behind the fires. They say at least two of the torched homes in this area were vacant or under renovation.

"We want it stopped, and it's always at night or in the mid-morning when we are asleep," the resident said. "So we would love someone to come and do something in this neighborhood, do a neighborhood watch, do something, because it's outrageous. Crime is getting outrageous right now. We all are afraid."

We're still waiting to hear from arson investigators on the status of their investigation. Neighbors say they want these suspicious fires to stop before the situation gets worse.

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