Home Local News Hobbs Fire still investigating suspicious fires

Hobbs Fire still investigating suspicious fires

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Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

Investigators with the Hobbs Fire Marshal office are still investigating two suspicious Hobbs residential structure fires that happened on Jan. 6 and Jan. 9.

Hobbs Fire Department Chief Barry Young said both fires are being investigating “under a suspicious nature.” 

Firefighters responded to the two vacant residences fully involved in flames — one around 10:52 a.m., Jan. 6 on the 1200 block of South Starling Drive, and one on the 600 block of South 8th Street. 

Firefighters noted the South Starling Drive fire was a vacant residence. 

The neighbors, according to Young, said the residence was supposed to be vacant but there had been people living there who were not supposed to be. 

“The fire on Starling suffered interior fire damage in a few places and most of the damage smoke related damage and water damage. I don’t know a whole lot about the 8th Street fire, but it was reported to me that there was heavy fire so I am going to assume (the Eighth Street fire) suffered more damage than the one on Starling,” Young said. 

The fire on South Eighth Street on Jan. 9, started around 3:13 a.m. 

According to Young, just like the Starling Drive fire, the 8th Street fire had people living in the residence who were not supposed to be there.

Though the exact cause of the fires is still being investigated, Young said it would help if someone from the public came forward with information. 

“These are just suspicious in nature type fires that we would like to see if somebody can come forward with information so that we can attempt to figure out how these fires started and who started them,” Young said. “I wouldn’t say we’re saying the fires were intentional but obviously somebody was inside (of the residences) and it could’ve been an accidental thing where they were trying to keep warm. 

“We’re trying to figure out what caused these fires and I wouldn’t go so far as saying the fires were intentional or arson at this point, it’s more trying to determine who was there and why the fires happened.” 

Young said when investigators are trying to determine if a fire is intentional or not, they typically look for signs of accelerants being used or anything out of the ordinary. 

“(In the case of the Starling and 8th Street fires, fire marshals) have recovered some evidence, so to speak, but they still need more to try and figure out what was going on,” Young said. 

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 575-391-8151 or Lea County Crime Stoppers at 575-393-8005.

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