A report from the Independence County Sheriff’s Department describes a house fire Thursday in the Cushman area as a possible case of arson.
Independence County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Tucker said a neighbor called 911 when the barking of dogs caused him to look outside where he then saw his neighbor’s residence, located in the 800 block of Allen Road, on fire.
The owner of the residence, identified in the report as Roy S. Melton, arrived on the scene, saying he had been in Florida and was unaware of the fire.
Tucker said he learned that the couple who had lived in the residence had allegedly been behind on their rent and were in the process of moving out of the area.
The deputy said it appeared the fire’s origin was on the front porch and the front northeast bedroom areas of the 24 by 30-foot structure. He also noted the residence had open porches on the front and rear.
Tucker said when he arrived, the Cushman Fire Department was on scene attempting to put out the blaze. He said in his report that damage throughout the residence was estimated to be around $20,000.
The deputy also said there was damage to items of the renters — living room furniture, bedroom furniture, clothing, and other personal possessions — that were still in the house.
He estimated that damage to be around $10,000.
According to the report, authorities believe the evidence points to arson, and there is a suspect in the case.
The report said deputies also have camera video of the area to be reviewed.
Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLE, Outlaw 106.5, and yourfm 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at email@example.com. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.