Nine Fires In Three Weeks At Same Apartment Complex
(West Memphis) A scary situation for people living in a West Memphis, Ark., apartment complex.
The fire department says someone has set nine fires in the last three weeks at the Westwood Apartments on Avalon.
The arsonist is targeting vacant apartments, but the fires are impacting everyone who lives there.
This week alone, there have been two fires in just one of the buildings.
Saturday, it was apartment number six, then Wednesday morning, apartment number 7.
“I live in number three,” said Charles Briggs.
Briggs has lived in the complex for 35 years, but now may be forced to move out.
“This time my lights went out and I stepped outside and looked and boy, smoke was just pouring out of that apartment,” he said about Wednesday’s fire.
The latest fire knocked out his electricity.
“They can’t turn my lights back on.”
He’s living in the dark as police search for the person who keeps lighting up empty units.
“Chaos” is how resident Robert Hardin described the situation.
Hardin knows that fire can spread.
“And the unit under me just became vacant,” he said.
He said he believes his whole family is in danger.
“I would love to see the police in this neighborhood out on their feet walking because that is the only way that this is going to be deterred, that is the only way it is going to be stopped.”
Police say they’ve added patrols around the complex and investigators are asking questions, looking for leads.
“We are just grateful that no one has been hurt or injured,” said West Memphis Fire Chief DeWayne Rose.
“I tell you what, I wish I knew who was setting these fires,” said Briggs
Briggs says the fires haven’t hurt him yet physically, but he is hurting in other ways.
“Yes I am. It’s been heck, I’ll tell you that.”
Briggs is hoping the Red Cross will step in and find him a new place to stay.
In the meantime, the fire chief is hoping everyone in the neighborhood keeps their eyes open and if they see anything suspicious to call Crittenden County Crimestoppers at (870) 732-4444.
There is a $2,000 reward.