New Bern firefighters were kept busy today with back-to-back fires about a block away from each other.
Investigators say overloaded extension cords caused the first fire on Fort Totten Drive, which destroyed a garage that had been converted into apartments. That blaze was extinguished within 30 minutes.
About 45 minutes later, while firefighters were still on the scene of the first fire, a second fire was called into Gaston Boulevard. There an abandoned home was fully engulfed in flames. They are still trying to determine how that fire started. No one was hurt in either fire.
Because both fires were in the same neighborhood, and started within a short time of each other, they first believed the two were suspicious.
Authorities in New Bern say two fires within minutes of each other and just about a block apart are being treated as suspicious.
A city spokeswoman says the first fire happened on Devers Circle in a garage that had been converted to apartments. When firefighters arrived the occupant in the front apartment was outside, while the man who lives in the rear apartment still has not been found. The fire gutted both apartments.
That first fire came in around 11:30 a.m. While finishing up that fire, another call came in at 12:15 p.m. for an abandoned home at the end of Gaston Boulevard. The spokeswoman says the two streets are separated by thick brush and that wind is not helping firefighters contain that blaze.
Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.