Fire Marshals investigate Longview arson - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fire Marshals investigate Longview arson

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Authorities say questions are arising as to the connection of an ex-tenant to the blaze that consumed a Longview home early Thursday morning.

Fire crews arrived to find a home in the 700th block of Lilly Street ablaze. The owners had been renovating the place when it mysteriously caught fire.

"Crews arrived , people observed the garage fully involved and immediately called in a working fire," says Longview Assistant Fire Marshal Jimmy Purcell.

Investigators say there were numerous points of origin where the fire was stared.

"With multiple points of origin with the evidence that we're finding, this is a arson fire," Purcell says.

A heavy smell of gas was apparent, leading investigators to believe it was a coordinated effort.

"We could tell a possible ignitable liquid was used" says Purcell.

The inside of the home was gutted, with thousands of dollars in damage. One possible clue, former tenants who were evicted in October, had made threatening remarks to the owner.

"Its possible that some statements were made to them back in October," says Purcell, "So there are some suspects that we'll be looking at."

The property owner told us Saturday he evicted prior tenants over failure to pay rent. He has boarded up the structure now for insurance purposes. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the fire marshal's office or crime-stoppers.

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