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Arson suspected in 3 fires

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 5, 2000
Meridian fire officials say four houses burned early this morning after a rash of suspicious fires broke out in vacant and abandoned structures.
Fire Chief Bunky Partridge said the Arson Task Force will investigate.
Two of the houses, at 39391/2 Valley St. and 3817 South St., burned to the ground, he said. The house next door to the South Street fire suffered damage from exposure to the flames. A fourth house at 3826 Hooper St. suffered heavy damage.
All of the homes were located in a four-block radius, Partridge said.
Firefighters received other calls for house fires at 2:40 a.m.
Partridge said his department is issuing a warning to residents.
The fires nearly overloaded the department's resources. Partridge said firefighters working at the abandoned houses would have been forced to leave if a call had come about a fire in an occupied building.
Firefighters remained on the scene of the house fires on Valley Street and South Street until mid-morning because material from the fires was still smoldering, Partridge said.
All of the homes had been condemned by the City of Meridian and had no utilities such as electricity or gas hooked up, he said.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at