Fire destroys South Memphis house with resident, but no utilities

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A suspicious fire Wednesday morning in South Memphis destroyed one house and damaged another.

Neighbors say a woman had been living at the house in the 1400 block of Wilson Street without utilities.

Robert Brownlee said there hasn’t been any water or electricity at the house for a long time. However, he said someone was staying there.

The Memphis Fire Department confirmed the house was occupied but had no utilities when the suspicious fire broke out.

According to the MFD, the woman was not injured. The cause of the fire was determined to be a candle left unattended on the front exterior of the home.

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While records show the house was purchased by Shelby County during a tax sale, the woman continued to live here.

“She was pretty much by herself all the time. Really didn’t bother anybody, so it’s unfortunate this happened to her today,” Brownlee said.

Duran Wilhite sayid he would frequently pass by the house and something just didn’t look right.

“I really don’t know much about it. I just know that anytime I saw her it was always dark, never any lighting, kind of concerning for her and the neighborhood,” Wilhite said.

Wednesday morning’s fire also damaged the house next door. The resident there didn’t want to go on camera, but said he was first to call 911.

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