More Fires Set In Vacant Houses In South Memphis

Posted on: 1:09 pm, January 8, 2013, by , updated on: 04:10pm, January 8, 2013

(Memphis) Fire fighters were back in a familiar neighborhood early Tuesday morning, battling a pair of suspicious fires.

The fires started in vacant houses on Gaston and McLemore in South Memphis.

Fire fighters investigated more than a dozen vacant house fires in the same neighborhood last summer.

Neighbors in the area say they are fed up and taking matters into their own hands to stop it.

“Someone is setting things on fire,” said Jenny Thompson.

Jenny Thompson lives two doors away from the house that burned on Gaston.

It’s the second time this week a vacant house on her street has been set on fire.

She says a neighbor knocked on her door at around 1a.m to let her know what was going on.

“She said the house is on fire next door, but it wasn’t next door. It was another house down and I said, oh Lord,” said Thompson.

While fire fighters were battling the fire on Gaston, they got a call about another fire a couple blocks away in a duplex on McLemore Avenue.

Fire fighters say someone set trash on fire upstairs, but they put it out before it caused any real damage.

“It’s wrong. Whoever is doing it. It’s wrong,” said Thompson.

Neighbors on Gaston say they plan to start a neighborhood watch to keep an eye on the empty buildings.

City leaders say many of the vacant houses have likely been cited already by code enforcement, and say it can take years to take over a property.

Neighbors say if the city isn’t going to tear them all down they’ll just make sure they know who’s going inside them.

“We call the police when we see them,” said Griffin.

So far, fire fighters don’t have any leads on who might be starting the fires.

If you know anything call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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