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Strange string of fires make neighbors wonder if their house is next

Strange string of fires make neighbors wonder who's house is

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Firefighters kept watch over a home destroyed by a fire on Thursday as neighbors worry who could be the next target in a strange string of fires.

A fire crew with Cimarron Hills Fire Department watched smoke billow from the home Thursday. They couldn't use as much water or other techniques to extinguish the fire because Colorado Bureau of Investigation and El Paso County arson investigators needed to sift through evidence to determine the cause of the latest fire.

A trip to Kachina Drive was all-too-familiar for the Cimarron Hills Fire Department.  Wednesday night's fire was the seventh fire they battled on the street in less than two years.

The string of fires started with the vacant property next door to the burned home. In May 2011 the home that used to stand on the now-empty property went up in flames. A modular home was built later on the property. A neighbor said a day after the building was completed, it was up in flames. Then, it caught fire a second time. After that, firefighters put out a shed fire on the property.  Next, crews battled a brush fire.

The string of fires raises questions.

"It's very unsettling. We had the one house here and multiple fires there, now it's moving to other homes. It's very concerning to us," said Lt. Matt Rasdall.

Neighbors said they don't feel safe in the neighborhood.

"Everyone thinks there is someone out here doing something," said neighbor Ross Jamison. Jamison has children at home and he's frustrated that investigators don't have answers.

"It just makes you wonder, watching the embers, if my house could be next or not so there isn't any telling what's going on," said Jamison.

Donna Henderson has lived on the street for 11 years. She said it's been a quiet neighborhood until May 2011.

"You kind of wonder, is it someone we know? Is it a neighbor? Because, like I said, we know everybody. Is it kids? Is it someone we come in contact with every day? And, what's going to happen next?" said Henderson.

She hopes the investigation will give the neighborhood answers and closure.

"Summer is coming up, people are going to take vacations, you're going to be gone, what are you going to do? Yeah, it's making me very nervous," said Henderson.

Two neighbors were afraid to speak, fearing their house would be next.


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