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Arson suspected in Atmore house fire

By By Adrienne McKenzie
An act of arson is suspected to be the cause of a house fire Friday morning at the corner of East Cypress Street and 1st Avenue in Atmore, according to the Atmore Fire Department.
According to chief Gerry McGhee, the house also caught fire approximately six months ago. After the first fire, the previous owner sold the home to the current owner, who currently does not live there.
"The man who owns the house now lives in Alaska," McGhee said. "There is no power going to the house so the fire had to be set."
The amount of damage sustained in the fire Friday morning was not visible due to the previous fire.
"You couldn't tell that much about the damage since it had already been burned," McGhee said.
According to McGhee a state fire marshal will be called in to determine if the act was indeed arson.
"Around the neighborhood a neighbor said they heard a big boom and saw dark smoke," McGhee said. "Someone had to set it because of the big boom. It is still under investigation."
McGhee said AFD plans to get in touch with local building inspectors who will get in touch with the owner of the home in Alaska to see if he wants to repair the home or wants it torn down.
According to assistant chief Mike Staples, the Atmore Fire Department got the call at 6:46 a.m. Friday and were dismissed from the scene at 8:37 a.m. There were five units on scene including three engines, one support truck and one chief truck. AFD had 14 firemen on location.