CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When Jeremy Taylor woke up early Sunday morning in his home on Costello Drive, he knew something was wrong.
"My mom woke up screaming 'fire, fire!" he said. " And then I woke up screaming 'what's happening?' Then I looked at the window and it was just blazing red."
An empty house nearby went up in flames about 5:30 a.m., and a charred structure is all that remains of it.
By the time crews arrived to save it, the fire had already spread to neighboring houses like Jeremy’s.
“I was lucky that the whole house didn’t burn down…I was lucky to get out alive,” said Taylor with a sigh of relief.
And the fire may have been no accident. Officials are still investigating the cause, but they said preliminary signs point to arson, and that someone may have been making mischief near the empty home.
“It’s one of those things that you look at and you say, ‘we’ll get to the bottom of it as best we can,’” said Charleston fire chief Ken Tyree.
Officials told WSAZ .com that the targeted house had been vacant for a while. But they knew the surrounding homes were not, and that some were filled with children.
“Why would you do this?” Tyree said. “There’s nothing to gain.””
Fortunately no one was hurt, but neighbors like Taylor are still shaken from the close call.
“Maybe they were trying to kill someone in that fire,” he said. “It’s pretty stupid.”
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