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Investigators say fires at 2 abandoned structures in Savannah are suspicious

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:43 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It was all hands on deck for firefighters battling two different abandoned building fires Wednesday night in Chatham County.

Chatham Emergency Services got a call that flames and smoke were coming from a building off ACL Boulevard just before 8 p.m. Twenty-one Chatham firefighters, along with crews from Savannah Fire, responded. Chatham EMS says it was an abandoned building that caught fire. Crews also dealt with live power lines sparking on the ground.

Then around 11:30 p.m., Chatham County Police say an abandoned house caught fire on Gerrard Avenue. Several fire crews had to respond to help put out the blaze.

No injuries were reported in either of these incidents, however, investigators say the fires are suspicious.

The deputy fire chief said they do believe the home was possibly used by drifters but still too soon to say what caused the fire.

Chatham Emergency Services said they have responded to seven vacant house fires, in this general area in just in the past few weeks.

“When we first got here, there was a powerline that feeds to the house that actually had power on the house.”

Chatham fire crews battled sparks, flames and smoke from a vacant home at the corner of ACL Boulevard and Gamble Road.

“You can see how overgrown the place was and it just made it very difficult to try to get to,” Chatham Emergency Services Deputy Fire Chief Keith Hardin said.

After an hour the fire was out.

But just three hours later, another report of a house fire, right around the corner.

“Very similar. Abandoned home, had power to it...pretty much the same circumstances.”

Crews arrived at the home off Garrard Avenue and found the house engulfed in flames. Now nothing but debris is left behind.

Crews are still unsure of the cause. But there is concern as crews have responded to several fires at abandoned homes recently.

The deputy fire chief is asking those in the area, especially those living near abandoned properties, to report any suspicious activity.

“Be aware of any vacant homes that may be around, people that are in and around those homes. If they see anybody around those homes, call Chatham County Police Department and notify them.”

Chatham Emergency Services is also asking if anyone has information about both fires to give them a call.

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