Fire marshals investigate arson case

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A family is having to live in a hotel because of damage done to their home by a fire.

Investigators say it began on June 16th just before 10 p.m. They say someone broke into the home and attempted to set it on fire. After that attempt failed, they returned two days later.

"It was a break-in. More stuff was strewn about and the house in shambles. The person obviously thought none of it would survive,” Collier says.

During both attempts, Collier says firefighters were on scene quickly and able to extinguish the fire before it spread through the home.

"They did a very bad job of setting the house on fire. There was actually very little fire both times. We got there quickly and the guys did an outstanding job putting the house out,” Collier explains.

People who live in the area say they have a good idea about who is responsible for setting the fires. Investigators have been talking with people in that area.

"We know how they set it. We know all about the fire and how they got in and what they used, but what we don’t know is who,” Collier says.

There is a reward for anyone with information about this fire. The state fire marshal’s office and Crimestoppers offering reward money. Collier says the motive for setting this home on fire is unclear at this point in the investigation.

“The motives are pretty much wide open at this point. It could be somebody that knew, it could be someone who didn’t know or it could just be random,” Collier says.

"It's not just a property crime. This has the potential to not only injure or kill someone living in the house, but also one of our firefighters. We take this extremely seriously," Collier says.

Collier says the arsonist did a horrible job of trying to set the home on fire.

If you have information on this arson case, there is up to seven thousand dollars in reward money being offered.

You can contact the state fire marshal's office at
601-359-1061. Or the east Mississippi Crimestoppers line at 855-485-TIPS