"I absolutely had no idea there was another fire at the same time, the same night,” says Charles Bishop, who called 911 when he saw flames down the street.
That scene quickly turned into two fires within an hour, at two different homes and only a block apart.
Both fires happened early Tuesday morning in Prescott, southeastern Ogemaw County.
No one was home at either house.
The Mills Township Fire Department fought the first fire on West Third Street just after 1 a.m.
The other, on West Second Street around 2:20 p.m.
9&10’s Cody Boyer has more details on why investigators and neighbors think it may be no accident.
"We were awakened by a popping sound,” Bishop says. “We didn’t know how bad it really was."
Just after 1 o’clock in the morning, Charles Bishop and his wife woke up to what sounded like a house collapsing.
"My wife looked. She looked out the window and she said oh my god, another fire,” Bishop says. “It was quick to the phone. Dialed 911 hoping that we could get someone there."
Donald Jasmine and his wife, Mary, remember hearing the sirens.
"I woke up in the middle of it,” Donald says.
“When I looked out my window, I said oh my goodness, there’s four fire trucks out there and the house is on fire,” Mary says.
It was another house with no one home, breathing with fire.
"I absolutely had no idea there was another fire,” Bishop says. “I was a little surprised to hear that and being that it was only a block away, that in itself, I don’t know why we didn’t hear the fire department."
And, according to the neighbors, it’s not a first for this area.
"The sad part to say is that it happens too often and it’s really sad because it seems like there is more that goes on here than anywhere I have ever known before,” Bishop says.
"This area is notorious for that,” Donald says. “I would say a slew of houses that were burned either by arson or accidentally."
A State Police fire marshal and the Mills Township Fire Department are investigating.
Each say the timing and the proximity could make these fires suspicious…
While there are no leads yet, neighbors hope something is done and fast.
"I absolutely hope that somebody can do something because too much of it happens here,” Bishop says. “It happens too often."
"We hope that the community will be a little more alert,” Donald says.