Monday, July 22, 2013 , Updated 9:00 p.m., July 23, 2013
UPDATED: Frisco police investigate suspicious string of five house fires
It's too early to know if the fires are connected.
FRISCO The Frisco Police Department is searching for a serial arsonist after a house fire early Sunday morning marked the fifth fire in a three-month span at a single subdivision.
Frisco firefighters extinguished a heavy fire in the 700 block of Burr Oak Drive after receiving a smoke investigation call at about 3:50 a.m. Sunday. Upon arriving five minutes later, firefighters saw fire at the back of the two-story house, located in the Grayhawk subdivision. Crews managed to bring the fire under control shortly after 5 a.m.
A news release issued by the city stated no one was at the house when the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported. Neighbors said they hadn't seen anyone at the home in several days.
That fire followed two others that took place at houses under construction in the 12900 block of Viola Drive, also located in Grayhawk, on May 20 and June 8. The latter fire caused about $50,000 in damages, and the Frisco Fire Department issued a statement calling the incidents "suspicious." An investigation later revealed the two fires were intentionally set.
Unlike the previous two incidents, the home involved in the most recent fire was fully furnished. The three homes are located within walking distance of one another.
Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland said the investigation of Sunday's fire is still in the early stages.
"It's too early in the investigation to say if there is a connection between this [overnight] fire and two previous fires in the same neighborhood," he wrote in an email statement to The Frisco Enterprise on Sunday. "However, we are bringing in additional resources from the city of Denton and the State Fire Marshal's Office to assist in the investigation."
Piland noted that the Frisco Police Department is also assisting in the investigation.
A city spokeswoman said two other fires have taken place in recent months near the three house fires. Firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire in the 700 block of West Talon on May 23, and a trash can fire was reported in the neighborhood on April 29. Investigators later confirmed the vehicle fire was an act of arson.
The trash fire initially wasn't reported to the State Fire Marshal's Office, though it is now being reexamined in light of the other fires. Trash can fires typically aren't investigated unless there are suspicious signs, the spokeswoman noted.
In a statement released by the city on Tuesday, Mayor Maher Maso encouraged residents to call 911 if they witness suspicious activity.
"We're very grateful no one has been hurt," he said. "Our residents' safety is a top priority. We're confident in our fire and police departments' ability to find the person -- or persons -- responsible."
In March, Frisco police announced they had arrested two teenagers who are accused of setting three fires at homes under construction on the other side of the city.
Those fires took place in the 1100 block of Ashley Drive, 15000 block of Bardwell Lane, and 15000 block of Beckley, all of which are within close proximity of one another. The most severe fire caused $250,000 in damages. Those locations are about 10 miles from Grayhawk.
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