House Fire Suspicious

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Meridian, Miss. A suspicious house fire in Meridian, discovered about 9 a.m. Friday, has investigators questioning its origin. The home in question is located at 3409 5th Street. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, saving most of the structure. However after interviewing the owner of the home, questions arose about the source of the fire that started in a house with no electricity or gas.

The unoccupied house received heavy damage before the flames were extinguished. The structure also has a history of being vandalized.

"According to the owner, the house had a history of vandalism. She had made a series of repairs and boarded up the house. I can't say the cause of the fire at this time; it is undetermined," said fire marshal, Jason Collier. "There was someone seen coming from the house in the area and we have a description of him as a 20-year-old black male, wearing a white shirt with a black jacket and black shorts. But that is just a person of interest and not a suspect at this time."

Even though the house sustained heavy damage, Collier applauds the firefighters for their quick actions in saving the structure.

"The Meridian firefighters really got on it," Collier said. "They worked their tails off and absolutely did a great job in putting the fire out without anyone getting hurt and really saved a lot of property. It may not look like it but there is a lot of things in there, personal stuff, that can be saved now and the building is still standing. Really a testament to them considering the construction and age of the building."

If you have any information that might help locate this person of interest, call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.