Clarksdale, MS arsonist strikes again - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clarksdale, MS arsonist strikes again

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(WMC-TV) - An arsonist in Clarksdale, Mississippi struck near a school Thursday night.

Friday, Lee Academy students celebrating homecoming rode past some of the more than 50 houses burned by the arsonists in recent months.

"Every night I hear fire trucks," said student Kenashoy Fair.  "I just wake up out of the bed and see it's in my area and I wonder is it my house."

At 9:00 p.m. Thursday, the arsonist struck the house next to Fred Hemphill.

"My neighbors across the street called and said, 'the house next to you is on fire,'" said Hemphill.

Hemphill broke out a window in the abandoned house.  He used his hose to try to put the fire out.

The fire did not do much damage, but the arsonist has frequently returned to houses he has set on fire.

The suspect has used alleyways to enter or start the fires at the back of the houses in many of the fires.

Investigators said the arsonist has previously not used an accelerant, but an accelerant was used in Thursday's fire.

Most of the fires were started in abandoned homes, but a family of five narrowly escaped their home earlier this week.

"I don't want anybody to get hurt," said neighbor Mimi Gray.  "I just can't understand anybody having that brain though mindset."

Investigators are offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead them to the arsonist.

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