Arson to blame for vacant house fire in Chesapeake

Posted at 5:11 AM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 18:26:32-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Fire investigators say arson is to blame for a vacant house fire in Chesapeake early Tuesday.

img_1389Firefighters responded to the 2100 block of Gilmerton Road around 12:35 am  to find a home fully engulfed in flames.

Mckensie Saunders was nearby when the fire started.

“I was sitting on the porch and just heard noises that didn`t sound right,” Saunders told News 3’s Rachael Cardin. “There was flames coming from the top of the trees, and the tree line, so I came out.”

Firefighters gained control of the fire around 1:00 am. Fire officials said nobody was home at the time of the fire and nobody was injured.

Neighbors told News 3 that the owner of the home passed away last week.

Fire officials say they have not made any arrests in the arson investigation, but neighbors say they saw several people going in and out of the home since the owner's death; people who would show up with no car or means of transportation and stay for an undetermined amount of time.

Fire officials would not release where they think the fire started or what caused the fire, as they are awaiting lab results to confirm their investigation.

Neighbors also said they heard a dog barking but Capt. Scott Saunders has confirmed there was no dog in the home.