Fire authorities investigate cause of southeast side fires

Palms Mobile Home Park caught fire Sunday afternoon. Investigators are calling it suspicious.
Palms Mobile Home Park caught fire Sunday afternoon. Investigators are calling it suspicious.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - We're learning more about four separate fires on the southeast side that investigators are calling suspicious. The fires ripped through two mobile home parks Sunday, leaving five families homeless.

Fire crews were back out at Palms Mobile Home Park Monday investigating. These mobile homes have literally burned to the ground and crews are still working to find the cause.

Residents spent much of the afternoon cleaning up and making repairs to broken water mains after a fire ripped through several mobile homes.

Five families were displaced, including Patrick Mcgowan's.

"I was gone. I came back and my son called me and said my house was on fire and everybody got out," said Mcgowan.

This was only one of four fires, all within ten minutes and less than a few miles apart.

"There were a few things found suspicious and at this point they are investigating each one of those fires to see if there is a connection," said Capt. Grant Cesarek with Rural Metro Fire.

Pete Smith, a manager at Palms Mobile Home Park near Benson Highway and Alvernon says one resident called authorities a few hours before the fire. But Pima County Sheriff's Office has no record of it.

"That person saw the individual stalking them on the park and cause some property damage so police were called to make note of that and file a report," said Smith.

Crews had a difficult time battling the blaze. Strong winds, low humidity and hot temperatures all played a factor. Help was also called in from nearby departments.

Smith says this could've been a lot worse. "If it had gone over to the right one more lot the trees over here would've caught fire and we would've lost this side of the park as well," said Smith.

All four fires caused an estimated $80,000 in damages. One person was taken to the hospital to get checked for a heat-related illness.

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