Two houses burn to ground, arson suspected

A private house in the Makabe district of Itoman City burned down and was completely destroyed in a fire that broke out in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

A call from a resident alerted Itoman City Fire Station to the scene, and firefighters were able to put the flames off in less than an hour, but the tile-roofed, single-story house was totally destroyed.

Three hours later at 5 a.m. the owner of the house noticed a pillar of flames shooting up from another single-story wooden house at the same site, and again called the fire station. The firefighters doused the flames in twenty minutes, but that house was completely destroyed, too.

The fire station and police officials are investigating the cause of the fire suspecting a strong possibility of arson.

According to neighborhood residents, dry grass piles with burning marks have been found one after another during the past month on a sugar cane field in Makabe district leading residents to speculate that there is an arsonist on the loose.

And, a strange man was observed in the area about one week before the fire this time.

A 65-year-old man who owned the two destroyed houses said that both were empty at the time of the fire.