By Julie Vaughan, Editor
EDGEWOOD—Van Zandt County and the State Fire Marshal’s officer were on the scene of a house fire, located on VZCR 3705 West of Edgewood, all day Thursday as they investigated a suspicious fire.
The blaze of the wooden structure was reported prior to midnight Wednesday and Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen said when the fire department arrived on the scene, they were unable to locate the homeowner, Jimmy Hunter.
“Upon arrival it was fully involved with flames and the homeowner’s vehicle was still outside,” Allen said.
Allen said it was believed Hunter had not been seen at least 15 minutes prior to the fire being reported.
Just before 11 a.m. Thursday, Allen said Hunter was located in Rains County at a friend’s house where he had been for several days.
“We believe that from the information we obtained last night (Wednesday) the persons of interest may have been the ones seen at the house 15 minutes prior to the fire and not Hunter,” Allen noted.
He went on to say that Hunter gave fire investigators permission to search the property for the investigation.
Fire departments responding to the scene included Edgewood, Wills Point, Emory and Point.
No injuries were reported and the only structures damaged were the homeowner’s house and vehicle.
Allen said it is still being called “suspicious” in nature and remains under investigation.
Earlier this week, Allen was called out to investigate a suspicious structure fire in Rolling Oaks on Private Road 7029, near Hunt County.
The singlewide mobile home is also believed to have been intentionally set.
Allen said no one was home at the time of that fire either.
The State Fire Marshal’s office was also called in to assist Allen, along with a canine unite that detects accelerants.
“Samples were taken and sent to a forensic lab for analysis,” Allen said, noting that the dog did alert on several areas.
Anyone with information on these fires or any other suspicious activities are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or the Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers at (903) 567-7867.