Gulfport house fire being investigated as 'suspicious'

Gulfport house fire being investigated as 'suspicious'

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A house that caught fire in Gulfport Friday night is being investigated as suspicious, say authorities.

According to Gulfport Fire Department, they received a call about the fire, which was in the 14000 block of Eastside Avenue, shortly after 9 p.m.

After forcing entry into the home, firefighters did not find anyone inside. According to neighbors, the homeowner only lives there part-time and was not home when the fire started.

Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt says the fire is under investigation and is considered suspicious at this point.

"We're looking to find reasonable explanations on how this fire could have started unintentionally," he said. "The way we do that is by looking for electrical or mechanical issues or unintended cooking, something like that, trying to look at all the ways a fire could possibly start. We can't find anything like that at this point for this fire."

According to Beyerstedt, the origin of the fire has been pinpointed but there is nothing indicating a reason as to why a fire would start in that place on its own. The fire chief confirmed that nobody was home when the fire began.

"There's no motive for this fire that we've come up with at this point," he said. "It could be a case of vandalism. The home is not insured so there's no financial motive for the homeowner and he couldn't think of anyone who has a problem with him or of any enemies in the neighborhood."

Beyerstedt said investigators are hoping that someone in the neighborhood may come forward with information.

He also pointed out that authorities do not believe this fire is connected to another residential fire in Gulfport on Eastside Street that occurred Tuesday night. A suspect in that case has been arrested and charged with arson.

If anyone has any information that could help investigators, please contact Gulfport Fire Department at 228-868-5950.

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