Neighbors believe home burned twice could be arson

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

BARTLETT, TN (WMC) - A homeowner has been left cleaning up after a house caught fire not once - but twice - and he believes the fires are not a coincidence.

Neighbors near Old Brownsville Road and St. Elmo Avenue are wondering what's next after a home was burned twice in one week.

"The fire was really coming out this side and the fence was already starting to smoke," neighbor Jerry McDoniel said. "It got hot quick. The smoke was so black I couldn't see."

The fire melted the siding on the house next door. People in the neighborhood not far from Bartlett said the house initially burned just over a week ago. The family was able to get out safely.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, the house burned again and destroyed the other half of the house.

"Everybody was surprised," McDoniel said.

The house didn't have power from the first fire, so it is unclear how the house burned a second time.

"They were concerned. Everybody around here is concerned," one neighbor said. "We don't know what to think quite frankly."

The woman, who lives across the street, didn't want to be identified. She said the fire marshal asked neighbors questions.

"He asked us if we had seen anyone over there," she said. But, neighbors didn't see anyone.

Neighbors believe the fires are the result of arson. However, no one knows for sure at this point.

Shelby County Fire investigators are working to determine what caused the fire. It's still under investigation - and it's still a mystery.

The family who lived in the home lost everything. If you'd like to donate to help the family, click here.

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