(WMC-TV) – Memphis fire investigators are calling a Friday morning fire an arson.
Crews were called to the scene in the 1500 block of Humber Street just before 1:30 a.m. Friday.
When firefighters arrived, heavy flames and thick smoke were pouring from the home. The flames quickly spread, forcing firefighters into a defensive mode.
"The heat that was coming from the house was just so extreme," said David Rucker, a neighbor.
Firefighters were initially afraid the flames would spread to homes on either side of the structure. Investigators still don't know the cause or origin of the fire, but they are investigating it a possible arson because of multiple on scene witness reports.
"They saw individuals running from the house," fire department spokesperson Henry Posey said.
It was the second fire in the neighborhood in just three days, and the third in just two months.
"Either they're setting them or they're trying to get warm," Posey said. "Once it gets too big for 'em they have to vacate it."
But neighbors suspect a firebug is operating on their street on purpose.
"It's just stupid and senseless," David Rucker said. "The fire department shouldn't have to come out here."
If you have information that could aid investigators, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.