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2014-05-01

Third house fire apparently unrelated to first two

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor



A fire has completely destroyed another residence in the Wharton's Dock area. The latest blaze was reported at 5:24 pm, Wednesday, April 23, in the 600 Block of Wright Drive.
The owners were at home at the time of the fire, according to Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith. "The couple smelled something burning, but were unaware that their house was on fire until a motorist going by began honking," he said.
Stith added that although the fire had originated on the outside of the house, strong winds quickly spread the blaze to the interior. Luckily, the occupants escaped the burning structure without injury.
Volunteer fire departments that responded to the call included Lake Shore, Bandera, Pipe Creek and Castle Lake. According to Stith, the home was 100 percent destroyed.
Although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Stith said that the origin "does not appear to be malicious" and that a person of interest has possibly been identified.
This fire is the latest in a string that has included three vehicle fires and three home fires in the Wharton's Dock area. Two house fires and a vehicle were completely destroyed on March 12. Additionally, two vehicles were engulfed by another blaze.
However, Stith assured residents that the fires do not appear to be related - even though some of the people affected were involved with one another. "This is simply a small community so some interaction is to be expected," he said.
Stith continued, "We believe that no random person is setting homes on fire. Fires can be set for specific reasons, including arson, retaliation and sometimes simple anger." He also noted that occasionally fires simply come in clusters.
Currently, Stith is sifting through all the aspects of the vehicle and house fires, attempting to connect threads. "There's all kinds of rumors out there, but so far nothing has been proven. We continue to chase down every lead. Some will get us nowhere, but one might add a piece to the puzzle."
He also urged the public to become proactive. "If you see something that seems out of place or hear something that just doesn't add up, contact my office at 830-460-8183. We are taking every lead extremely seriously. So, if anyone sees anything that seems out of order, please give us a call."