With arsonist on the loose, residents gripped with fear - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

With arsonist on the loose, Clarksdale residents gripped with fear

(WMC-TV) - Some Clarksdale, Mississippi residents said Thursday they are living in fear of an arsonist who has set at least 50 fires in the last two months.

"I don't sleep well at all," said victim Tom Hancock.

Hancock is among the people who wonder when the arsonist will strike again.

"It came real close," he said.  "See the resin melted the blinds in the den."

The arsonist hit Hancock's property last week, burning his garage and another building behind his house.  The flames were so hot the back of his house burned.

Investigators said the arsonist has returned to houses and set them on fire again.

Hancock said he is not taking any chances.

"I go to bed early, I go to sleep, I set my alarm for 1:30," said Hancock.  "I get up, dress, and then I come back into the den and lay in my recliner for the rest of the night so I can watch and listen."

Investigators said the arsonist has set at least 50 fires in the past two months.  A family of five narrowly escaped from a house hit by the arsonist Monday.  The suspect came back Tuesday and burned the house again, damaging the neighbor's home next door.

The arsonist has not been seen by anyone.  Many in Clarksdale wonder if they will be next.

"Is anybody going to set my house on fire?" asked Clarksdale resident Tania Richardson.  "Is anybody going to set my neighbor's house on fire?"

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