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Thursday house fire under investigation

January 19, 2013

West Point fire and police officials are still trying to piece together the reasons for a fire that destroyed a large portion of a South Division Street home Thursday night.
Around 8 p.m. that night, the West Point Fire Department was called to 724 South Division Street, and once firemen arrived they saw that the house was already in flames with heavy smoke billowing from the home.
West Point Fire Chief Johnnie Littlefield said it appeared that the fire broke out in a back room of the home, which was in the renovation process by Garnett Enterprises in preparation to be rented out to a tenant.
Littlefield said there was medium to heavy damage in the southwest corner of the house, and firemen stayed on scene for more than an hour trying to extinguish the fire, clear the smoke away and check for hot spots.
There was temporary electricity hooked up at the residence, and the meter was pulled shortly after fire officials arrived on scene. It is unclear at this point if electricity may have contributed to the cause of the fire. No one was injured in the fire, and no one was present once fireman got there.
Moments after fire officials arrived police were called to the scene to investigate the possibility of an attempted burglary at the home, but West Point Chief of Police Tim Brinkley said at this time it is uncertain if there was an attempted burglary at the residence.
“It was reported by a man working on the property earlier that the back door was open once he got there, but how it was opened we don’t know,” Brinkley said. “There were no tools in the house nor was there anything else of value in the house.”
At this point there are very few leads to solve this possible attempted burglary case, which remains under investigation. As for the fire, Littlefield said the cause of it is undetermined and the Police Department is not authorized to investigate the cause of fires even if foul play may have been involved.
“As a police agency we are not the experts on how these fires get started,” Brinkley said. “We look to the Fire Department and the fire investigators’ training to determine that, thus we cannot comment on the cause of the fire.”
If anyone noticed any suspicious activity around this South Division home Thursday night or has any further information about the incident they are urged to call the West Point Police Department at 662-494-1244.

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