Arson suspected after 5 homes on same block catch fire

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Dozens of firefighters rushed to save several Sevierville homes that all caught fire around 4:00 a.m. on Monday. Investigators said they suspect arson because of the 'nature of the fires' as well as other evidence that they've gathered so far.

Six area fire departments all sent teams to the scene, along Apple Ridge Way, to battle blazes at five homes. They quickly extinguished the flames, but not before fire destroyed two of the homes.

No one appeared to be living in any of the them, the Sevierville Fire Dept. (SFD) noted.

SFD firefighters were first ones to arrive. They were responding to reports of a brush fire, but when they arrived they found a home fully engulfed.

As they prepared to to attack that home, the other four 'erupted' into flames. More and more firefighters scrambled to assist. In all, around 60 of them worked to contain the flames with the help of eight engines, two wildfire trucks, and a tanker.

SFD Chief Matt Henderson said none of the other nearby homes were affected, nor was the surrounding woods.

The investigation into who might have started the fires is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call SFD Fire Marshall Tommy White at 865-868-1708 or Sevierville Police Department Detective Milliron at 865-453-5506.

In addition to the SFD, members of the Pigeon Forge Fire Dept., Sevier Co. Volunteer Fire Dept., Northview/Kodak Volunteer Fire Dept., Seymour Volunteer Fire Dept., and Walden's Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. assisted.

Leading us to ask the question -is arson on the rise?

"We average about 44 percent of our fires - being set fires. We investigate on average about 18 (arson) fires a month," said Fire Marshal, Danny Beeler.

(WVLT/Matt Mullens)

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