Vacant home fires investigated in Oak Cliff

An investigation is underway after three homes went up in flames in Oak Cliff. Bradley Blackburn reports.

OAK CLIFF -- After three vacant houses were set on fire on one night in one neighborhood, residents are upset and scared.

"I'm tired of it," said O.V. Waters, who lives right next door to a home that burned at 2705 Easter Avenue. "This is about to cook my house up."

Police and fire officials say they are investigating. They responded to a house fire in the 1500 block of Cape Cod late Friday evening, to a house that had been burned before.

Residents told police they saw a young person walking nearby with a gas can.  Dallas PD's helicopter was launched to search for him, but he is still on the loose.

At nearby 1589 Atoll, just a short walk away, Alfonso Peppers got his first look at a house the belonged to his late parents. 

"Looks like a total loss, man," he said, looking through broken windows where there was still smoldering debris on the floor. 

He inherited the house with other family members and said they had been planning to sell.  It was boarded up and vacant, but full of memories.

"My mother's room was right there," he said, "I wonder why this house here was chosen."

Neighbors say vacant homes are a real problem in this neighborhood, serving as a haven for drug abuse and other mischief. 

O.V. Waters and his wife Denise have lived in their home for 30 years, and say they had seen the house on Easter Avenue on fire before, too.  They blame a group of male teenagers who they've observed at the property before, most recently on Thursday.

"They know what they're doing.  They're picking out houses just to set on fire, and maybe laugh about it," said Waters.  "Kids are going to be kids, but those kids need to be stopped, found, picked up and put in jail."

Denise Waters hopes authorities will catch whomever is responsible for the fires, and that the city will tear down the burned-out home that now sits next door.  It would at least be a start at improving her longtime neighborhood.

"This is where we live, I'm not moving," she said.  "I like Oak Cliff."

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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