Macon-Bibb County firefighters suspect arson in two suspicious fires early Thursday in vacant houses on Houston Road.
The fires were reported about 20 minutes apart and were less than a quarter-mile away from each other.
At 1:41 a.m., crews responded to the first blaze near Hartley Bridge Road behind the Mini Foods at 5642 Houston Road, said Cliff Rushin, assistant chief of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.
At 2:05 a.m., firefighters shifted to 5490 Houston Road where another house was ablaze. Both buildings were gutted in the fires.
Arson investigator Sgt. Ben Gleaton said the fires are suspicious as there were no working utilities connected to the building, and it’s likely the fires could have been set by the same person.
The sub-freezing temperatures complicated firefighting efforts as water was freezing on the ground and road. “Extreme heat and extreme cold in our profession certainly takes its toll,” Rushin said. “We have to rely on our training and physical abilities and protective clothing.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in the investigation.
Anyone with information on the fires is urged to call the Georgia Arson hotline at (800) 282-5804 or Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68CRIME.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.