Arson investigators say early morning fire intentionally set

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Firefighters battled a blaze at the Goodwill Village Apartments early Monday morning they believe was intentionally set, leaving tenants to point the finger at one of their own.

Investigators said everything inside the Goodwill Village Apartment complex was either burned or otherwise damaged by Monday morning's blaze.

People who live in the complex said their landlord has made a lot of enemies - including the man they said started Monday's fire.

Neighbors said the trouble started when an aggressive owner took control of the entire complex, promising to clean up crime.  Action News 5 profiled the owner, James Carmichael, earlier this year after a series of violent events.

Many were happy with what Carmichael has done.

"I feel like he's doing what's best for this community right here," tenant Willie French said.

Monday, no one would identify the person by name, but neighbors said the fire was started by a man who owes Carmichael $36 and is about to get evicted.

According to residents, tough standards, zero tolerance, and frequent evictions have driven a wedge between Carmichael and many of those to whom he rents.

In fact, during our interviews Monday, man people did not want to show their faces. Officials said arson investigators may have a difficult time.

Some of the tenants were not only afraid of the suspected arsonist, but the landlord too.

Action News 5 was not able to get in touch with James Carmichael Monday for this story.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.