Crime spree takes toll on South Memphis neighborhood

Police have been called to the 1500 block of McMillan Street seven times in five days.

A pile of wood used to be one of the many abandoned properties in a South Memphis community.

The house burned to the ground Saturday afternoon. It's part of a crime spree that's taking a toll on residents who are afraid of becoming the next victim.

"I'm scared. I'm scared to go to sleep at night. I could wake up with my house on fire," says neighbor Margaret Matthews.

The Memphis Fire Department hasn't officially ruled on the cause of the latest fire on McMillan but they say that fire investigators were called to the scene which usually suggests a suspicion of arson.

While firefighters were putting out the flames, Memphis police got an anonymous tip that led them to drugs and weapons at another house on the block. It was a glimmer of hope in the midst of despair.

"Once you get the community involved you can catch anybody you want to catch," says neighbor Gwendolyn Wilson.

"It's not the neighborhood, it's the people in it that's making the neighborhood bad, so if people would come together and not against each other then the neighborhood wouldn't be like this," adds Wilson.

It's a cry for help from a crime-ridden community.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.