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Benson Highway fires investigated as possible arson

Liz Kotalik

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Benson Highway fires investigated as possible arson

CREATED Jun. 9, 2013 - UPDATED: Jun. 10, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Sheriff's Deputies are looking at the multiple fires on Benson Highway Sunday afternoon as possible arson.

Capt. Grant Cesarek with Rural/Metro Fire tells KGUN9 they are working with the Pima County Sheriff's Department to investigate the fires as there was some indication of foul play at the scene.

Four mobile homes caught on fire, along with a recreational vehicle that spread to nearby brush. 

The fires took place in a mobile home park near Benson Highway and Columbus Boulevard.

While firefighters rushed to put out the flames, and onlookers tried to grasp what they just saw, Jonathan Hutton watched quietly across the street.

"Basically, I see my home...going in flames," he said with tears in his eyes.
 
With no time to even put shoes on, everything Jonathan owned burned right in front of him.
 
"I tried to turn back but the heat was just too intense."
 
His home, gone, but he's not the only one. 
 
"It's gone to the ground," Sheri McGowan told Nine On Your Side.
 
She lost everything as well.
 
But shortly before flames erupted at their complex, there were two other mobile home fires, both in different locations, and Rural/Metro fire said, all minutes apart.  
 
"Obviously, it is suspicious," John Walka with Rural/Metro Fire said. "We usually don't have incidents like this going on all at the same time."
 
Spreading to surrounding brush, the fire was still smoldering hours later.
 
It's a devastating scene with a devastating outcome. 
 
"We had nice things," Sheri said. "It's pretty sad that you'll never know if you'll have it again."
 
And Jonathan is still trying to take it all in. 
 
"It's still really hitting me, because I still just don't want to accept it or believe it."
 
Accept that their homes are gone, and there's still no answer as to why.
 
Rural/Metro estimates the damage at $80,000.
 
Southern Arizona Red Cross is helping those five families displaced in these circumstances. 
 
To help, click here.

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