Fires burn 3 more structures in N. Lufkin

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Three more structures burned near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Keltys Street, which are streets located in the northern part of Lufkin, sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and arson is suspected.

"We do not have a suspect yet, but we are reaching out for any information we can get," Detective J.B. Smith, the public information officer for the Lufkin Police Department, said.

The three most recent fires occurred within a half-mile radius of the fires that occurred early Tuesday morning. The first three incidents all took place within 90 minutes, and they are believed to be arson as well.

"At this time, the fires appear to be the result of arson but no reports of injury have been received," a press release from the Lufkin Police Department stated. "Lufkin Fire Marshal Steve McCool is leading the investigation and Lufkin Police Department has assigned multiple officers to assist the Fire Marshal in the investigation and to conduct targeted patrols of the area in marked and unmarked vehicles."

The Lufkin Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a vacant residence located near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Keltys Street at about 3:50 a.m. Wednesday. Personnel from the police and fire departments found three structures engulfed in flames when they arrived on the scene. The structures included two homes and a nearby garage apartment, all located in the 900 block of Wilson Avenue. All three structures were vacant, according to the press release.

Lufkin Fire Marshall Steve McCool stated that his preliminary investigation indicates that the fire started at one residence and spread to the second residence with its neighboring garage apartment. The fire destroyed the home where it is believed to have originated.

One woman who lives in the area did not want to be on camera, but said these recent fires have put her on edge.

"It worries me, and we're just moving in." the woman said. "I'm thinking about moving out."

According to LFD spokesman Steve McCool, the first fire early Tuesday morning was around 4:50 a.m. and obviously intentional. He said a homeowner in the 900 block of O'Quinn Avenue woke up after he heard something hit his house. He went outside and saw a stick on fire against his house. He put the fire out and called police. It also appears the gas tank of some vehicles in the area were tampered with, McCool said.

The next fire was called in around 5:21 a.m. at a vacant, boarded-up house in the 1400 block of Keltys Street. McCool said it started on the back of the house, and the fire gutted it. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to put it out.

While firefighters were working that fire, they learned of a third fire in the 1000 block of Hosea Dolphus Avenue. McCool said a pickup truck in behind a residence had some lumber and trash in it, and someone set it ablaze. Firefighters were able to put it out quickly.

"Anyone with information concerning these fires or the identity of the person(s) responsible for setting the fires can provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers of Lufkin at (936) 639-TIPS or by submitting an anonymous tip at," the press release stated. "Crime Stoppers tipsters never have to give their name and Crime Stoppers may pay a cash reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest related to these crimes."

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