Officials: Two Gastonia house fires intentionally set

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The Gastonia Fire Department says they're investigating two house fires that were intentionally set Tuesday morning.

Around 1:11 a.m. the fire department received a call of a reported house fire at the 1500 block of Collinston Drive. When firefighters arrived they saw smoke and flames coming through the roof.

Firefighters determined the house was vacant. The fire was extinguished in 30 minutes with no injuries reported.

An estimated $20,000 in damages was caused by the fire and the home is a total loss, according to Gastonia Fire.

Next-door neighbor James Ansel says knowing the fires were set on purpose concerns him.

"Yes, that means it's somebody local, somebody in the neighborhood. Yes, that concerns me," he said. "They might want to escalate what they are doing and if they can't find an abandon one who's to stop them. Say no one's home or I'm at work when something happens."

At 2:30 a.m. the fire department received another call for a reported house fire at the 2400 block of Milton Avenue.

When firefighters arrived they found a one story home with smoke and flames visible.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in 10 minutes. At the time of the fire the house was vacant, according to Gastonia Fire.

"Well, it’s been going on for a while," said neighbor Dale Truett. "People are bad about doing stuff like that. I’m not worried but they will found out who done it later."

Gastonia Fire said there was an estimated $40,000 in damages and the home is a total loss.

The department determined the homes were only a mile apart. If anyone has any information on either of the fires, please call Gaston County Crime Stoppers at: 704 861 8000.