Suspicious Wells fires have residents concerned

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - bio | email

WELLS, Texas (KTRE) - Three suspicious fires, all within a block of one another in the city of Wells, have neighboring residents concerned for their safety.

Cherokee County fire investigator Jack White uses a hydrocarbon detector on the front porch of a Wells house.

He's trying to determine if there are flammable liquids there that could've caused Tuesday night's blaze.

"I took pictures and did some documentation last night, but it's a lot better in the daylight as far as what I can see and I won't miss things," said White.

It's the third fire in two weeks on this block on East Odom Street in Wells. White said it's definitely suspicious.

"Having a fire that starts on the front porch is a little bit of a cause for concern all by itself that generally doesn't happen all that often and whenever it does, there's a good chance that something is not right," explained White.

It started with Jimmy Kirkwood's barn burning to the ground a couple weeks ago.

"We haven't had any sleep from having to try to keep an eye on the place during the day and during the night and it's just making it difficult for everybody here in the neighborhood," said Kirkwood.

A few days ago, a storage building burned and investigators ruled it arson. Then, came Charles Genthner's rent house.

"Last night, we were watching television and about 9, we turned off the television and went to bed and went to sleep and about 10:30, my wife woke me up screaming that the house was on fire," said Genthner.

Residents fear for their safety.

"The fact that somebody could've just brazenly walked up to the house and set fire to it," said Genthner.

"I'm still afraid," said Kirkwood. "I'm going to be afraid until they do something about it."

Investigators aren't naming a suspect at this point and they're still trying to determine the exact cause of this fire.

"Something is going on around here and everybody needs to be watchful," said Genthner.

Genthner and his wife were home when the house fire sparked, but they made it out of the house safely.

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