Police Investigate Suspected Arson - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Police Investigate Suspected Arson

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PHILADELPHIA -

An overnight fire leaves about a dozen people homeless. And this evening, police are investigating whether it was "set on purpose".

This happened on the 2800 block of Memphis street in Philadelphia

Neighbors and victims seem to believe that it was arson, but investigators have not confirmed as of yet. Crews are still boarding up windows this evening. There are five homes damaged. Many are waiting for answers.

"These flames just erupted everywhere! It was very intense," says a witness.

"Everybody screaming. It was horrible, says another witness.

"I started running because they were screaming fire, fire, says Jose Reyes.

Reyes says the fire woke his family up, leaving mere second for everybody to get out.

"I grabbed my daughter, I gave her to my wife and I go over there for my son," remembers Reyes.

Nicole Frazier was so shocked by the damage to her home, she started hyperventilating and had to be hospitalized. She cannot believe she lost so much.

"I lost a lot of pictures I had of when my daughter was little-- Just a lot of emotional stuff. I'm really concerned with getting myself together here and I would like to know where I am at. All this is just devastating," says Frazier.

Fire fighters say the blaze began at one house and quickly spread to the others. They battled the blaze in the heat, while trying to stay hydrated. Some neighbors tried to help too.

"I tried to come outside to try to knock on the doors, but the flames were so hot that you probably couldn't even get within five feet of the steps," says James McClendon.

The Red Paw Relief Team Jumped in too, saving two dogs.

While the Fire Marshall looks for a cause, victims say they are convinced the fire was started on purpose, believing that a neighbor's significant other followed through on a threat.

"He said before that he'll be putting some fire on the house," says Reyes. "So I don't know what is going on."

"It hurt everybody. All of our neighbors," reflects Frazier.

Investigators have not confirmed that theory and while they do their work, victims are left with trying to figure out a way to move on.

"We work hard every day and do what you have to do to live and you come home to this? this is very unexpected," says Frazier.

Frazier is not sure where she's going to stay just yet. The American Red Cross is helping, most of the families affected and churches are offering to take donations to help victims as well.

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