After the home initially caught on fire Feb. 16, it caught fire three more time within three days, resulting in such extensive damage that the homeowners were forced to move to another house behind it.
Those fires are still being investigated, said Lt. Neal Brown, who investigates arsons.
Brown said the Friday fire was “definitely arson.” His investigation revealed someone set fire to a wreath and sat it next to a front door that had been covered in plywood after being damaged in a previous fire.
Cleaning crews at a home next door noticed the flames and called for help.
“Had they not seen it we’d have a lot more here,” Brown said.
Battalion Chief Chris Reed said the fire was very small when firefighters arrived on the scene. The crew was able to put out the flames in about five minutes with a water extinguisher.
Brown did not investigate the previous fires and could not comment on the status of the investigations.
Homeowner John Adams said every fire is another devastation.
All three floors have fire and water damage. Once repairs begin, he said, it will take about a year to restore the 8,700-square-foot, 23-room house.
Adams said he’s concerned about fire investigators calling the previous fires “suspicious” and that Friday’s fire was deemed arson.
“We’ve lived here 22 years,” Adams said. “We have no enemies and all the people here love us. I have no clue (who would set the fire).”