Stevens Point residents call house fires 'suspicious' - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stevens Point residents call house fires 'suspicious'


A Stevens Point house is destroyed after a fire erupted inside its garage.

This is the third house fire this year within a two-mile area. Officials say all three of the fires started inside the homes' garages.

But police and fire investigators are tight-lipped about whether they suspect arson.

Neighbors tell Newsline 9 they think the fires are suspicious.

"It's kind of scary because it was an intense fire," said neighbor Scott Winkelman.

"It is, it's very scary," added Tim McKnight, a nearby home owner.

"You could see just flames coming out of everything," said Michael Horn, neighbor.

Police say the 66-year-old man living inside the house that most recently burned made it out unharmed.

Neighbors say it sounded like a war zone.

"I didn't really know what to think of it until I heard all of the loud explosions," Horn said.

"I took a look out the window, looked through the blinds and there's just fireballs coming out of the garage," said neighbor Nick Sutheimer.

"The garage had a considerable amount of heat of which caused damage to two adjacent homes," said Stevens Point Fire Captain Dennis Zvara.

Sutheimer's house is one of those adjacent homes. He says the intense heat caused his dogs to start barking.

"The entire west side essentially just melted off," said Sutheimer.

The neighbor's house on the next door had their interior blinds begin to melt.

Houses on the opposite side of the street were affected as well.

"It kind of melted my drain pipe, that's how hot it was, and I’m clear across the street," said neighbor Scott Winkelman.

Other neighbors worry that the fires are being set, possibly to cover burglaries in the garages.

Police and fire investigators say the causes of the three fires are still unknown. Officials declined to comment Friday when asked whether there may be an arsonist involved.

Police say the cause of all three fires are still being investigated.

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