Thanksgiving Day fire at Anniston home may have been arson, investigators say
by Madasyn Czebiniak
mczebiniak@annistonstar.com
Dec 02, 2013 | 3592 views |  0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anniston police and fire officials Monday were investigating a Thanksgiving Day house fire they believe might have been intentionally set. No one was injured in the blaze.

Between 70 and 80 percent of the home was in flames when officers arrived at 1:14 p.m. Thursday, but firefighters were able to safely put the blaze out within 35 to 40 minutes, according to David Randle, assistant fire chief, who spoke Monday.

According to Anniston police Capt. Allen George, a Fire Department official told police that the fire likely started in the middle of the residence at 2825 Noble St.

Assistant fire Chief Chris Collins told The Star Monday that investigators believe the fire may have been intentionally set, because there was no power source or utilities connected to the home at the time of the fire.

According to George, the home had been condemned by the city of Anniston and the tenant renting the property had until Dec. 2 to vacate the premises. Richard Lynn Smith, 54, the owner of the home, was in the Calhoun County Jail on Thursday, charged with failure to appear for domestic violence charge, according to the captain and court records.

The tenant was not in the home at the time of the fire, George said Monday.

If the fire was intentionally set any suspect could face charges of second-degree arson, a felony, according to a police report.

Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @MCzebiniak_Star.

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