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Investigators: Arson blamed for third fire at Berclair home this week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- MFD investigators have determined a fire that damaged two homes in the Berclair area late Wednesday night was intentionally set.

The fire started around 11 p.m. inside a vacant home in the 4700 block of Hillmont Avenue, near Covington Pike and I-40.

Neighbors say this is just one of several times that house has caught fire this week, and they're worried their houses could be next.

"This is the third time in one week that that house has been on fire," said Quadrian Funches, who lives across the street.

Crews battled high winds – which only made matters worse – causing the flames to spread to the house next door and causing minor damage.

Luckily, the family in that house was able to get out safely.

"They could have gotten burned up in that house next door," Funches said.

Some neighbors tell WREG they were awakened by firefighters pounding on their doors to evacuate their homes until they could get it under control.

A charred convertible Mustang still sits in the driveway.

That car is where neighbors say the fire sparked.

They say they heard a loud explosion and smelled smoke, and came outside to find the house on fire again.

"Very weird and crazy because nobody's been arrested and that house has been a target," Funches said. "It's getting bombed every three days. So, it makes me very scared, very worried."

Across the street, one man says he was forced to hose his own house down as embers flew from the fire onto his roof.

The series of fires has people on the otherwise quiet street talking and watching, hoping investigators crack the case before the house goes up in flames a fourth time.

"Concerning and weird," Funches said. "There's a lot of neighbors behind that house and beside that house and it's weird for somebody not to see nobody that's coming over there to set those fires."

Fire investigators are still working to figure out how the fire was sparked and exactly where it started.

Lt. Wayne Cooke with MFD said Thursday morning that so far, no one has come forward saying they witnessed anything suspicious.