HARKER HEIGHTS — An uninhabited home burned down at midnight Wednesday on East Ball Road, the same street where fire officials said a mobile home was intentionally set on fire eight days earlier.
No injuries were reported, but the fire did spread to nearby trees and another house, which had to be evacuated.
Not only is it the same road as the fire from last week, “it’s the same block,” said Harker Heights Fire Chief Jack Collier. His department, along with help from Killeen, Temple, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are investigating the blaze.
In Wednesday night’s fire, emergency crews were called to the 100 block of East Ball Road, and found a one-story home engulfed “with flames coming through all doors and windows” when they arrived at 11:55 p.m., according to a news release.
The fire took 17 minutes to get under control, and residents of both adjacent homes were evacuated. Some exterior burn damage was reported to the house next door, but it is still livable, Collier said.
At 4:38 a.m. Aug. 21, firefighters responded to a mobile home fire on East Ball Road. In that incident, the uninhabited house also was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Fire officials said that fire was intentionally set. That same structure also was set on fire the week earlier; however, firefighters were able to douse the flames before they caused serious damage. Killeen Crime Stoppers announced Thursday it is awarding $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in that case.
Collier also is encouraging those with information — on any of the fires — to come forward, “before someone does get seriously hurt.”
Collier said it is unclear at this point if the Wednesday fire was arson, but he did call it “suspicious.” He said ownership of the home had recently changed hands, and the new owner was apparently going to remodel it.
The mobile home on East Ball Road was in the process of being dismantled before it burned down.
With fire crews responding to three fires on the same block in less than two weeks, tensions are rising among residents of East Ball Road, in north Harker Heights, the fire chief said.
“They’re starting to get a little concerned,” Collier said.
Those with information should call the fire department at (254) 699-2699, or Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-8477 or (800) 729-8477.