3 home fires on one street considered arson

Three homes on the southwest Atlanta street burned as a result of fires that were intentionally set, said Atlanta Fire Capt. J.L. Bundrige in an email.

The latest fire, at 1002 Ashby Grove, occurred Monday. A fire burned 950 Ashby Grove April 2. There was another fire April 28 at 992 Ashby Grove.

Investigations into the fires are ongoing, said Bundrige. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arson conviction.

Ashby Grove resident Tyrone Smith, who lives next to the home that burned Monday, said all the burned homes on the two-block street were vacant and the fires may have been inadvertently started by "people that smoke drugs."

"We've got kids. They're out here playing, this is a problem," Smith said.

Neighbor Sylvia Johnson said most of the homes on Ashby Grove are abandoned, and the house across the street from hers has burned four times in the four years she's lived on the street.

"We have a lot of vagrants on these streets," she said, adding that a woman who walks up and down the street completely naked about "two times a week" has admitted to burning homes while "smoking crack."

Wayman Maddox, 75, who has lived across the street from the home that burned Monday since 1978, said the city ought to "fold up" the abandoned houses to prevent more fires.  He lives between two vacant homes and is worried they may burn too.

"I hope the city does something right away," said Maddox.

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