By Josh Troy
The Clarksdale Fire Department extinguished two fires of vacant homes on Adams Avenue., within a six-day time period and prevented any injuries from occurring in the process. The first fire was at 312 Adams Ave., at approximately 10:45 p.m. on March 6. The more recent fire was at 328 Adams Ave., at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, March 11. Assistant Fire Chief Willie Williams, who was on the scene to put out the fire at 328 Adams Ave., said there were no suspects and a motive was not pinpointed, but someone intentionally set the homes on fire. He added it was not the first time someone set fire to 328 Adams Ave. Williams said the fire at 328 Adams Ave. spread to the house to its right at 330 Adams Ave.
While residents live at 330 Adams Ave., Williams said they were not home when the fire started. He said a 330 Adams Ave. resident spotted the fire after it started and contacted the fire department. Nearly all of the home at 328 Adams Ave. was destroyed, but the fire only spread to the left side of 330 Adams Ave. Williams said the firefighters first focused on keeping the fire at the 330 address from spreading. Once the fire at 330 was extinguished, they turned their attention to the 328 address.
“The guys did an excellent job of extinguishing it and saving the property that was occupied,” said Williams of the fire department. There is a little wood structure left on the home of 328 Adams Ave., but the rest of it was burned down. “We knew that 328 was all the way up, so we knew it was gone already,” Williams said. “So our job was to protect 330 and keep it from getting fully evolved.”
Williams said it took the Clarksdale Fire Department approximately two hours to extinguish the fires at 328 and 330 Adams Ave. on Saturday morning. He added that the fire could have been worse if his team did not notice a broken gas line at 328 Adams Ave. “When my guys were extinguishing the fire and made it around to the back of the house, they noticed that there was a gas line broken in it, and it was shooting gas out,” he said.
Williams said Atmos Energy representatives came to the scene and confirmed someone busted a gas line. “They (person who set the property on fire) wanted it to be a big destruction,” he said. “Luckily, our guys got there and knocked the fire down before reaching that place.” Clarksdale Public Utilities linemen representatives were also on the scene to cut off a power line so the fire department could extinguish the fire.
Williams said something was likely done to cause the fire within 30 minutes of when it started.
“If anybody saw anything or somebody around there within 30 minutes around that time, please give us a call,” he said. Investigator Trey Gammill is investigating both fires on Adams Avenue. Williams added that anyone who may have noticed someone suspicious on Adams Avenue at any time within the past couple of weeks should contact the Clarksdale Fire Department at (662) 627-8486 and ask for Gammill.