A probe continues today into a Sunday morning fire believed to have been set at a Roseboro residence Sunday morning, the same residence, fire officials noted, that had burned just six months earlier.
In fact, the residence, at 111 Clark Lane, was being torn down, according to assistant fire marshal Prentice Madgar, but still had its interior walls and roof in tact when the fire started around 10:30 a.m. March 17.
Both fire and law enforcement officials are calling the fire an arson, noting that not only did someone working on the house at the time of the fire spot a suspect running from the structure but investigators discovered clothes piled in a stack where the blaze originated.
Madgar said a man working to dismantle the home, owned by Shirley Owens, came to the residence around 10:30 Sunday morning. He had been there, reports note, about 15 minutes when a suspect ran from the back door and jumped a privacy fence behind the house.
Shortly after the suspect fled the home, the worker noticed fire coming from the rear bedroom of the home and immediately called the fire department and the Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff’s Cpl. Marcus Smith said the worker described the suspect as a black male wearing black pants and a black jacket with a hood.
Madgar added that the suspect is believed to be approximately 4 foot to 4 foot 5 inches tall. “The man working there thought it might be a young boy.”
Investigators photographed the scene and collected evidence. A damage estimate had not been determined Monday afternoon.
Madgar said he believed the fire likely was started using cardboard boxes that had been placed on top of a large stack of clothing.
“It was a pretty good size pile of clothing stacked in that bedroom, and it appears the cardboard had been stacked on the clothes and then set on fire,” Madgar said.
An investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information about the suspect or the incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 910-592-4141.