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Madison County Firefighters Investigating Suspicious Blaze

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. - Madison County firefighters are investigating a suspicious house fire off Austin Cove, Sunday.

Investigators are looking for answers after a mysterious blaze destroyed a vacant home early Sunday morning.

"It's a suspicious fire due to the fact there was no electricity or utilities to the house," said Fire Chief Eric Turner. "The utilities had been cut off to the house and it had been winterized so that's kinda what has prompted our investigation."

Neighbors said they too are surprised since the house has been empty for months.

"It's just been vacant probably for six months, I think it's a foreclosure," said neighbor Robert Dowdy. "I got a phone call around 12:30 a.m. from a neighbor of mine telling me that that house was on fire. I thought he was joking with me."

Fire unit investigators said they are looking into all of their possibilities as to what started the blaze, including arson.

"The real-estate company has showed it several times over the past week so we know there has been activity in the house," said Chief Turner. "We are still trying to figure when the last person was in the house."

Officials said the property value was worth more than $200,000. Neighbors said there were several interested buyers and bids on the home.

"It's probably been like 400 people over there," said Dowdy. "I'm building a house right next door and I see people all the time in there at night with flashlights on."

Fire officials said there is extensive fire, smoke and water damage throughout the home. Firefighters said they believe the blaze either started in the upstairs bedroom, bonus bedroom or downstairs den.

"Neighbors seen it relatively quick for that time of night and not a lot of traffic in this subdivision it could have been a lot worse," said Chief Turner.

If you have any information in this case call the Madison County Fire Department at (731) 424-5577.

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