Wick Street area residents awoke to smoke in their neighborhood.

It was the smell of arson.

Officials say two Corinth house fires were deliberately set Friday morning.

The first fire occurred at an abandoned house around 4 a.m. in the 1400th block of Wick Street. Less than one block away at 1502 Wick, a second house fire was set around 8 a.m. Both structures were empty and the second house was under renovation.

Fire Cheif Todd Welch said by the time the first unit arrived at the first house fire the structure was fully engulfed.

“Flames were throughout the house and the roof had caved in,” he said. “We decided not to fight the fire and just try to control it.”

Welch said it was an abandoned home that was “beginning to fall in before the fire.”

Firefighters remained on the scene for about four hours. Minutes after the units arrived back at the station, Welch said dispatch received another call of a house fire on Wick. Luckily the second call came in after shift change and a new set of rested firefighters responded.

“It was very suspicious,” said Welch. “The second house fire was literally less than a block away from the first house fire.”

Units were able to contain the second fire to the kitchen area of the house. Although empty, the house was being renovated and new HVAC, windows and vinyl siding had recently been installed.

While the first house fire was deemed a total loss, Welch said the second house was salvageable following the fire.

A Mississippi fire marshall was on the scene Friday afternoon investigating the second house fire.

“The fire marshall has ruled it arson,” said Welch. “And it’s sad, but I believe whoever set the second fire was waiting for the fire department to leave the scene of the first fire.”

Welch added that neither homeowner had insurance.

Four Corinth Fire Department units responded to the two scenes.

Corinth Police also responded and Welch said a Magnolia EMS unit visited the scene to ensure no firefighter needed assistance.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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