String of fires ruled arson


Wednesday, January 16th 2008, 4:28 pm
By: News 9


By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

District Fire Chief Homer Jones has classified four of five fires in western Oklahoma City as arson. Another fire Thursday morning also is being investigated for arson.

In an e-mail to NEWS 9, Jones calls this rash of fires "the result of willful and malicious acts."

The arsons occured at vacant residential homes on S. McKinley Street, NW 7 Street, and two on NW 3 Street. One fire at a commercial building on N Indiana Ave. is still under investigation as is the fire from Thursday morning on NW 27 Street.

The last of the four arsons occurred at 1610 NW 3 Street at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Sandra Earnest lives on NW 3 Street and said she saw something suspicious the morning of the last arson.

"There was a guy running out of the house," said Earnest.

Other residents on NW 3 Street said they are worried about their homes.

"My house is going to be next, to be totally honest," said Kervis Nevels. "I don't think it's an accident--just too many fires."

As the house became consumed on NW 3 Street Wednesday morning, flames licked Nevels'  outside wall and burned down his fence. The rest of his vacant home, however, was spared.

Fire officials estimated the total cost of damages from Wednesday fire was about $40,000.