Jun 10, 2013 1:34 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Suspicious fires burn several homes

TUCSON - The Pima County Sheriff's Department is investigating a series of suspicious fires that burned 6 trailers on the South Side.

Sheri McGowan lost her home and does not have insurance.

"I got my two boys out of there shoeless, shirtless but in one piece," she said. "We didn't burn. We're here together."

Joe Zuidema, her son, just finished his sophomore year at Desert View High School.

"The worst five minutes of my entire life," he said. "Just watching my home go up in flames, everything inside it gone."

Rural Metro firefighters responded to 3 fires in the same area in a short amount of time. The last one burned 5 trailers. The heat and wind challenged firefighters.

"It makes it very complicating for our folks out there," Batallion Chief John Walka said. "We need to make sure that we rotate our folks in and out, and we don't create any more patients and any more injuries with our own people."

A brush fire apparently broke out after the last trailer fires, making the whole neighborhood nervous.

"It's getting closer and closer to my house," Ginger Ables said, "and it's just really scary."

The fires stretched the resources of Rural Metro so they called help from Tucson Fire, Davis-Monthan Fire and the National Guard.

The Red Cross helped people who lived in 4 burned trailers and 4 more that lost power.


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