Waxahachie police detained a juvenile suspect for questioning after Waxahachie firefighters extinguished a house fire and grass fire about 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17.
The house fire, ruled as suspicious in nature by Fire Marshall Dennis Crecelius, consumed the residence on the northeast corner of Eggar and Bateman Streets.
“When I got here, it was heavy flames and heavy smoke,” said John Rodgers, Waxahachie fire department battalion chief.
The house was reported as vacant, and appears to have been for a while, Rodgers said.
Damages are estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and the fire started in the front bedroom, Crecelius said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and noticed smoke nearby around 3:45 p.m. A grass fire near Peters Street was called in and Red Oak firefighters, who had been filling in at Station 2, aided in extinguishing the second fire.
Bystanders, who also heard and saw smoke from the grass fire, were concerned that someone had purposely set both fires.
However, Crecelius said it appeared an ember from the house fire blew into a field on Peters Street, causing the fire.
The fire is still under investigation at this time, Crecelius said.
“The lady that used to live there was in a nursing home, and she’s been dead for a while,” said Waxahachie resident and bystander Peggy Davis. “I am just shocked.”
Dee Dee Curry, also a bystander, said the house belonged to her father’s brother, and that several relatives lived in houses in the nearby area. She, too, said she was shocked when she drove up and saw the smoke.
“There wasn’t supposed to be anybody there,” Curry said.
Last week, Waxahachie fire officials asked for the public’s help to find a possible arsonist in connection with two fires, a month apart, at Penn Park Youth Center in the 400 block of Getzendaner St. This is located about a mile from where Friday’s fires took place.
The Waxahachie Fire Department has not stated whether there is any possible connection between these incidents.
If anyone has any information, they can call the fire department at 469-309-4200, Crecelius said.
Waxahachie Fire Department puts out flames on the corner of Eggar and Bateman. https://t.co/I1lp2YK41z
— Shelly Conlon (@Shelly_MarieC) January 17, 2014