Arson was cited in two overnight house fires today, including one where a couple's dog is missing.
Firefighters several blocks away from 708 Magnolia St. were warning other responders of billowing, heavy smoke. From a 911 call, a fire dispatcher alerted crews to a dog in the basement.
Battalion Fire Chief James Pacer said the fire started about 5:30 a.m. on the dwelling's front porch ignited by an incendiary device thrown there by a suspect upset over a business deal gone sour. The man showed up earlier in the evening to complain to the female occupant of the house and was ordered off the property by her male companion. Chief Pacer said he asked a fire investigator to look into the circumstances that led to the fire.
Chief Pacer said there were two dogs in the house; one was accounted for. He said firefighters conducted a search of the house shortly after arriving. The house was destroyed by the blaze, and what was left was scheduled to be razed today. The chief said he could only hope the missing dog escaped in the chaos with the doors open. The Red Cross offered shelter for the couple and their dog.
Shortly after 3 a.m., fire crews were called to 992 W. Delaware, where a boarded up, vacant home was burning. Battalion Fire Chief David Rodriguez said the fire was the work of an arsonist. He estimated damage at $10,000. A firefighter suffered an ankle injury while fighting the blaze, which Chief Rodriguez said proved difficult as the flames worked their way into the attic.
Dormers concealed fire, necessitating firefighters cut and hack away at portions of the upper reaches to extinguish the blaze.