Tenn.: 5 Building Fires Break Out in 30 Minutes; Arson Suspected

October 5, 2007

Fire inspectors were investigating a series of five building fires that erupted in a half hour early Monday in northeastern Tennessee.

“Every one of them went up like a tinder box,” said Lieutenant Tom Remine of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Three barns and two unoccupied homes went up in flames between 2:45 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. Monday.

Janie Sliger Torbett said she was heartbroken to get a call from authorities when the barn on her old homeplace burned. Torbett lives in Piney Flats.

“My father had built that barn many years ago. Now both of my parents are deceased,” Torbett said. “This farm is his legacy. It’s been in the Sliger family since the late 1800s.”

One of the fires ignited grass across the street and burned close enough to an occupied house to melt siding, Remine said.

The fires Monday came after an abandoned building burned last week and two fires were set in abandoned houses last month in Telford, Tenn.

Information from: Johnson City Press,

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