UPDATE: Craven County House Fires Suspicious

Two abandoned homes went up in flames within minutes of each other in James City, less than a mile apart.

Assistant Emergency Services Director Ira Whitford says the fires are considered suspicious.

Crews were called to a house that was fully engulfed in flames at 718 Old Cherry Point Rd. at 2 a.m. Tuesday. It was the fire crews that noticed the second fire, about a half-mile away, on West Maple Street.

Whitford says both houses are destroyed. Only the roof remains on the burned house on West Maple. The walls are the only thing standing still on the house on Old Cherry Point Rd.

Several fire departments responded, and no firefighters were injured during the hours they fought the fires.

The fires are under investigation by the Craven County Fire Marshal and the Craven County Sheriff's Office.

When asked if an accelerant had been used to fuel the flames, Whitford said he did not know yet, but that would be looked into during the investigation.

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We're gathering details as fire crews in Craven County are on the scenes of two different structure fires.

Dispatchers say the first call came in at 2 a.m. for a fire at 718 Old Cherry Point Road in New Bern just off of Highway 70. Another fire was reported at 2:14 a.m. on West Maple Street. That's only about a mile from the fire on Old Cherry Point Road.

At this time, officials are unable to say if anyone was inside either home or if the fires are connected. We'll keep you posted on this breaking news.

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