Investigation continues into fire at vacant house

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Photo courtesy Taylor Battalion Chief Bob Lavender
Taylor fire officials have confirmed that arson was responsible for a Memorial Day blaze on Ziegler Street. No one was injured in the fire that consumed a vacant home.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A Memorial Day house fire that fully engulfed a vacant house has been confirmed to be the result of arson.

Fire Marshal John Hager said evidence discovered at the house in the 11000 block of Ziegler — including the makings of Molotov cocktails — will be analyzed as the investigation continues.

“We have determined it to be arson,” Hager said Thursday. “At this point we have evidence being taken to the state crime lab to be analyzed.”

Firefighters responded at 11:30 p.m. Monday to a structure all but consumed by fire. Hager said the house was “fully involved” when responders arrived, and also determined to be vacant.

“The fire department tried to make an attack but the structure was unsafe,” Hager said.

At that point fire crews fought from a defensive stance and were able to extinguish the fire within two hours. No injuries were reported from the incident, and Hager said there was “quite a distance” between the burned house and any other structure. The house was undergoing renovations and did not have active gas or electric power.

Investigators sifted through the remains and discovered evidence that included Molotov cocktail devices.

“We found some containers that weren’t broken or damaged that had flammable liquids inside,” Hager said.

Further investigation included the discovery of fingerprints and information that seemed to confirm the fire to be arson, Hager said.

“We have some people we’ll be talking to,” Hager said. “We know there was some major disputing going on and need to interview some individuals.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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