Officials probe 2 area fires

From Press, Staff Reports

Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said he has reported two area structure fires to the state fire marshal’s office because he believes they may have originated as a result of arson.

The Mathiston and Maben fire departments responded to the first fire at 12:35 a.m. Oct. 11. Firefighters extinguished a vacant structure near the intersection of highways 15 and 82 in Mathiston, the Starkville Daily News reported Oct. 13. EMS and the Webster County sheriff’s office also responded, according to Webster 911 reports.

The Mathiston Fire Department returned to the scene six hours later when the fire rekindled. Mathiston Fire Chief Lee Gilliland said the house, which was on the north side of U.S. 82, was known as the “Shoemaker place.”

Both fire departments responded to another structure fire around 3 a.m. This fire occurred at an unoccupied doublewide trailer on 2396 Maben-Starkville Road, according to the SDN.

“This string of fires is not only suspicious but incendiary in nature,” Rosenhan told the newspaper. “The state fire marshal’s office has been contacted, and we will continue to investigate the incidents.”