Only a shell remains of the home at West 13th Avenue and South Ash Street in Pine Bluff after a fire gutted the abandoned residence Monday. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
This abandoned home at West Scull and North Cypress streets was not completely destroyed by fire but the damage can be seen at the roof edge and windows after a fire destroyed the interior. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department investigators are trying to determine the cause of two house fires early Monday morning.
Spokesman Lt. Harold Clark said the fires were reported at West Scull and North Cypress streets, near the E-Z Mart on North University Drive, and at West 13th Avenue and South Ash Street, and both houses were vacant at the time.
“There’s no ruling on the cause of either one of them and we’re asking anyone who sees something suspicious, especially around a vacant house, to call 9-1-1,” Clark said. “People don’t have to give their names, but anytime you have a house fire like that, there are other adjacent houses that could also catch on fire.”
Fire Marshal Capt. Fred Tisdale is conducting the investigation into those fires.
Meanwhile, a joint police-fire department investigation is ongoing into the cause of a blaze Friday that resulted in the deaths of two people.
Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley tentatively identified the victims as Kassie Calvert, 30, and her son, Devin Calvert, 3. Both bodies were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory at Little Rock to confirm the identification and to determine the cause and manner of death.
The bodies were found in the southeast corner of the two-story house at Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street. The house was totally destroyed by the fire, which broke out at about 7 a.m.
Clark said an off-duty firefighter saw smoke from the residence and called in the fire, and when the first firefighters arrived, the building was completely engulfed by flames.
Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Randy Compton will work with police detectives to determine the cause of the fire and its point of origin.
“When we can pinpoint the origin, then we can start putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” Clark said Friday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and we’re going to do everything we can to solve this.”