A suspicious fire at an abandoned home in rural Center Point early Wednesday morning has officials asking the public for help in catching the person responsible.
Before 2 a.m., members of the Center Point Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to a fully engulfed structure fire in the area of 42 East Ashboro Road. Firefighters were on the scene for several hours, and returned again around 5 a.m., to try and put out a fire at a home, which has been vacant for several years, that had no utilities.
Although officials believe the fire is suspicious in nature, the Fire Marshal's Office was not contacted because the homeowner didn't have insurance on the property.
The structure was still smoldering, which is why firefighters will check the area periodically during the next few days.
"There have been a string of suspicious fires at abandoned houses in the Sugar Ridge Township over the past few years," Center Point Fire Chief Aaron Morgan told The Brazil Times Wednesday afternoon.
Although no one has been hurt yet, Morgan said any structure fire has the potential to become dangerous.
"We have firefighters out at all hours of the night fighting fires that could spread to other areas," Morgan said.
A member of both Sugar Ridge and Perry townships fire departments, Morgan would like owners of abandoned structures in the two townships to check their property more frequently and contact him about where they are located. The information will be kept confidential.
"It's not to get anyone in trouble. I'd just like to catch who's doing this. We want to be able to keep a better eye on the locations," Morgan said. "Maybe if the homeowners stop by more often, they will find evidence of someone hanging around the property and we might be able to catch who's responsible."
Property owners can contact Center Point Fire Chief Aaron Morgan by phone at (812) 240-1021. To report information about suspicious activity near rural homes, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.