Suspicious fires spark at abandoned mobile home park - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspicious fires spark at abandoned mobile home park

(WMC-TV) - First it was the flood and now it is fire. Investigators believe someone may be torching an abandoned mobile home park, one structure at a time.

Smoldering ashes and rising smoke are what is left after another recent fire. There have been nearly a dozen now in the park once known as the Countryview Mobile Home Community.

This is a typical example of the fallout from the flood," said Steve Shular, Shelby County Mayor's Office.

In May 2011, only rooftops were visible in the mobile home park. The homes there were completely under water. The area was only accessible by boat.

A lot of these people, you know, have lost everything that they had. The human being part of you, it's really sad," said Jake Haley, Shelby County Fire Department.

County officials say there are about 100 trailers in the Countryview Mobile Home Community. But there are no signs of life. No people. No power. Nothing but a big mess."

Each trailer is individually owned. Shelby County officials say they tried to cite each owner but they proved impossible to find.

Now through the court system, they are demanding that the land owner clean up.

"We'll be looking for fines. We'll be looking for a plan coming from the court that will order in some way that danger to be taken care of," said Shular.

Until then, investigators believe there is a firebug still on the loose who sheriff's deputies hope to catch before someone gets hurt.

They've had some folks out there watching those areas. They will continue to be doing that," said Shular. "Anytime the firemen go in there's a chance for danger there. We've got a critical problem in that neighborhood."

The land owner has already been fined more than $15,000.

The case will go to court for a compliance hearing August 20. If there is no change, the county will begin the process of getting it declared a public nuisance. That will allow them to clear the land and attempt to back bill for the work.

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