ATOKA, OK-State and Atoka county investigators are searching for an arsonist after three fires were set in one neighborhood in less than a week.
Residents told us there have been three fires along Boggy Depot Road in Atoka this past week, one of them heavily damaged a home Tuesday night. The Oklahoma State Fire Marshal said all three fires are arson and area residents said they're worried their homes could be the next targets.
Justin Ledford said he saw something out of the ordinary Tuesday night.
"I thought it was a wreck. I didn't get to see the actual fire but by the time I had to see what was going on, I heard a bunch of sirens and by the time I got there I realize the house was on fire," he said.
Atoka Sheriff's deputy, Greg Munholland said the fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the 1100 of Boggy Depot Road. It took three fire departments to put out the flames and he said it's suspicious.
"After I arrived, I went in and looked into the residence and found there are some situations there that called for that we should call the fire marshal," he said.
Munholland wouldn't elaborate, but said no one lived in the home. He said residents told him there have been two more fires along the same road within just a few days.
"At this time we have a vehicle that was seen in the area that we're trying to investigate to see who may be driving that vehicle," he said.
Ledford said his wife saw a white truck pass by several times around the times the fires started.
"Crystal thought she saw a suspicious vehicle that was earlier to the accident. But I never did see a vehicle, but there's been a couple of people here who have seen a couple of suspects," he said.
Ledford said he's concerned for his family's safety because he doesn't know when or where the suspects will strike next.
"It's too close to home. I mean we're good ol' country people and people wanna start trouble like that, it's a really bad deal," he said. "I got two kids, I can't have anyone messing around like that."
"If anybody in the area has anybody that's suspicious, please call the sheriff's office and let us know. We'll come out and investigate it and we'll see if we can get this to stop," said Munholland.
Munholland said they currently have persons of interest in these fires. He said they are local, but no one is in custody. If found guilty of arson, those responsible could face up to 35 years in state prison.
Atoka County Sheriff's Office (580) 889-2221