Fire at Deputy's House Ruled Arson

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A fire Wednesday morning destroyed a home in the Russell community of Lauderdale County.

Volunteer firefighters responded to 830 Harper Road around 6 a.m. to find a house belonging to a Lauderdale County deputy in flames.

Deputy Jason Wiggins and his family were out of town, but his patrol car was parked in front of the residence.

And just last Friday the home of Wiggins' father located around the corner was the target of a violent break-in, where at least nine shots were fired.

State fire investigators say the fire was no accident. And Sheriff Billy Sollie says he's suspicious the two events are connected.

"Because this family has had more than one tragedy or more than one near death experience in the past twelve months, we're concerned that somebody or someone out there is attempting to harm the Wiggins family," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.

Fire coordinator Allan Dover says the home is a total loss. At least four volunteer fire departments responded, but a Toomsuba pumper wrecked on the way.

No one was injured, either in the wreck or the fire. Sheriff Sollie says no suspects have yet been identified, but the investigation continues.

The state fire marshal's office is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information in this case. If you have any information, call 1-888-648-0877, or Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.