(04/24/2007)
The State Fire Marshal's office is investigating three suspicious Calhoun house fires over the weekend.

Two houses on Mud Fork Road just off Rt. 16 near Chloe burned to the ground Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The houses were in close proximity.

The Upper West Fork Volunteer Fire Department responded to both blazes.

Fire Chief Randy Perkins notified the Fire Marshal's office, saying the fires were of "unknown origin." Perkins said he believed the dwellings were vacant, and has yet to determine the owners.

Both dwellings were fully engulfed when the fire department arrived.

Firemen managed to remove several propane tanks from a porch on one house, likely preventing an explosion.

The Fire Marshal was also examining a house that burned early Sunday morning, just off Nobe Road.

Neighbors indicated there was an explosion inside the house, causing the building to be fully engulfed when the Grantsville VFD arrived.

The unoccupied house was owned by Barry Pitts.

Grantsville chief Craig Gherke said he understood the gas and electric had been turned off, but the gas was apparently on when the fire happened.

Gherke said window glass had been blown some distance from the structure.

"It was a suspicious situation," Gherke said.

Read earlier stories 4/22/07


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