Two houses burn in downtown Macon fire

Smoke billowed up over downtown Macon this morning as two houses burned on First Street at the intersection of Liberty Street, which is not far from Little Richard Penniman Boulevard.

At about 7:30 a.m. Macon-Bibb County firefighters were changing shifts at headquarters when they noticed a plume of smoke rising from the hill a few blocks away off Telfair Street, said District Chief Joe Pinkney.

When crews arrived, the vacant house at the corner of Liberty and First streets was engulfed in flames and the fire had spread to the house next door.

Bobby Lee Fulton said he was in bed when the fire started at the corner house and he awoke to find his own roof had caught fire.

Fulton escaped the flames and the American Red Cross was on the way to assist him in the wake of the fire that burned the top portion of his house at 1563 First St.

Pinkney said firefighters sprayed a curtain of water between the closely-spaced wood-frame houses to protect Fulton's house from further damage.

The blaze was particularly stubborn to fight as the small older houses were constructed of fat lighter wood, Pinkney said.

Macon-Bibb County arson investigator David Brown was on scene to begin trying to determine what started the fire.

Come back to for photos and video from the scene.