A suspicious-looking fire roared to life in the back of an empty home on the 1600 block of 5th tonight around 8:30 or 9:00. Half of the house looked engaged, but firefighters seemed to have it under control soon after they arrived. Fire trucks lined the entire block.
Nearly everyone I spoke to watching the blaze was realistic about the chances of arson, given that the house was old, rundown, and had been on the market for a long time. Other possibilities mentioned by speculating onlookers: squatters or teenagers. Look forward to any future arson reports that might come to us in a neighborhood meeting.
UPDATE: the Fire Marshal interviewed some neighbors and the house owner; one person reports that the Fire Marshal said that the fire was started in the middle of a room in the house on the floor and that it does look like arson.