Apartment fires believed to be work of arsonist - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Apartment fires believed to be work of arsonist

(WMC-TV) – The search is on for an arsonist who targeted several units at the Somerset Park Apartments on Winchester Road.

Residents are now worried the person responsible could strike again.

"I went out to the story with my baby mama I wasn't gone no longer than two or three minutes when I came back everything was on fire, these buildings was on fire and that building was on fire," said Marricus Neely, who lives in the apartment complex.

Just hours earlier more than 100 firefighters were trying to put the flames out.

Residents describe the heat from the blaze as very intense.

Firefighters say several residents were displaced by this fire, which burned one unit to the ground and made many others unlivable.

Resident were not surprised to learn that the blaze is being investigated as an arson.

"Yeah it's been like nine to eight fires already just in this year," said Neely. "Every time they start a fire, it's always in this area."

A firefighter was treated for minor injuries while battling the fire at the Somerset Park Apartments.

The fire brought to light other problems people in the apartment complex have been having lately.

Sunday, Ms. Mary Stanley was left treading through water in her bedroom after her hot water heater broke. She also has a broken refrigerator.

While some residents are still without power, many others have complained about plumbing and electrical problems.

"Right now they've sucked up the water and then took the hot water tank out and stuff, so as of now I don't have hot water," said Stanley.

"We have no electricity. Ain't had none for almost 24 hours and nobody has come to restore the power yet," said resident Kevin Smith.

"If I don't get money for materials. If I don't get anything to provide for my tenants, my hands are tied. I'm just the face in front of a whole company," said the property manager.

Apartment managers say the property is currently under new ownership. And the manager responsible for addressing the resident's concerns will not be in until next week.

If you have any information about this fire, you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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