Residents react to multiple house fires

Recent fires cause suspicion in Swifton

SWIFTON, AR (KAIT) - The Swifton Fire and Police Departments have responded multiple times to structure fires since the first of the year with one major fire destroying a home over the weekend.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, fire officials responded to a fully-involved house fire in the 200-block of George Street.

According to Police Chief Shannon Webb, this is the sixth fire they have responded to this year.

He said they've noticed a pattern in the structures that have caught fire.

"Nobody lived there so no utilities were on," said Webb. "No gas, no water, no electric, no nothing. So it raises extreme suspicion."

It was then Webb said they decided to take action.

"The council, mayor and myself decided to contact the Arkansas State Police and ask for their assistance with a fire investigator to try to determine what's causing it as far as the accelerant they are using to start the fires," said Webb.

Joy Roper has lived in Swifton for 76 years and said she's very concerned about the recent string of fires.

She lives near a home on Gilliam Street that caught fire earlier in the year.

"I have great-grand babies that play in the yard," said Roper. "Of course most of these have been at night, I understand, but still I don't want anything like that happening around my place."

"It just makes me mad to know that people have the kind of disregard that they do," said Natalee Moon, another Swifton resident.

Chief Webb said all the fires occurred overnight and all were unoccupied residences.

"We are asking for the community's assistance in this," said Webb. "We've got a small community and we take pride in it and we want to resolve the situation as fast as possible.

"I just want these people caught and I want them to stop doing this," said Roper.

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