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Pittsburg County Investigators Search For Arsonist

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PITTSBURG COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Pittsburg County investigators are searching for someone they say intentionally set two fires that threatened homes.

The Canadian Shores Fire Department - and just about all the departments around them - have battled drought for months, and now they're fighting arsonists, too.

Fire Chief Donald Cathey showed us where two fires were reported. They threatened a housing addition after burning through some woods and the chief said they were not an accident.

“Oh yeah, it was definitely set. There are no electrical lines down or anything that could have set it” he said.

The fires burned a couple of acres Sunday, took six hours to stop and clean up, but firefighters protected the homes.

They used a couple of backfires to protect them if the arsonist tries again.

“It just shot up and it spread everywhere. It took off on us,” neighbor Dawn Loma said.

She said her husband thinks he spotted the arsonist on a four-wheeler. They called the sheriff and the fire department.

“They got here and put it out and did a backfire and everything, but it shot up again after a couple of hours. It started again, over in that corner,” Loma said.

That really angers Cathey, who missed a daughter's birthday party because of the first fire and spent part of the night fighting the second one.

He and his small department of volunteers gave up another Sunday to put it out.

“We're here to help people when they're in need, and when you have to stop everything to put out a fire someone intentionally set, it's not a very good feeling,” Cathey said.

The nearby Indianola Fire Department has handled 21 fires since New Year's; another department said they had one almost every day.

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