State Fire Marshal looking into destructive blaze
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating what is believed to be a case of arson after a predawn fire burned a vacant Northgate Drive house to the ground early Monday (September 6).
Fire Chief Ron Peebles said an investigator from the state, who also has arrest powers, will come to Atmore later this week to begin his probe into the destructive blaze. Peebles was headed to the site Tuesday morning (September 7) to try and determine who owns the property, which has changed hands several times over the years.
“At this time, we don’t really know who owns the house,” said Police Chief Chuck Brooks. “We do know the fire is suspicious, because we have witnesses who observed unknown people around the house shortly before the fire started. Right now, it is listed as an arson case.”
Atmore Fire Department reports show that AFD units were dispatched to the scene, off Alabama 21 North, at 3:13 a.m. Units from Poarch Creek Indians Fire Department arrived soon after to help.
The firefighters spent more than two hours battling the blaze, launching a “surround and drown attack” to bring it under control before heading back to their respective stations at 5:52 a.m.
According to reports, the house was “fully involved and totally consumed” by flames when the first firefighters arrived. Three walls and the garage had already collapsed.
Anyone who might have information that could help solve the case is urged to call 368-9141.