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Thomson-McDuffie firefighters perform their duties at 196 Viola Avery St., a home that burned Oct. 6. Officials suspect arson to be the cause of the fire.

The state fire marshal’s office is helping Thomson-McDuffie Fire and EMS investigate the suspected arson of a home that burned Sunday night on Viola Avery Street.

Thomson-McDuffie Fire and EMS was dispatched to 196 Viola Avery Street at approximately 11:15 p.m., Oct. 6 after a passerby sounded the alarm that the home was burning.

When the first unit arrived on the scene, the house was fully engulfed in smoke and flames and firefighters engaged in a plan of attack to quickly knock the fire down and then proceeded to extinguish hot spots. The home was badly burned and the rear and side of a Nissan Altima parked next to the house was damaged from the heat and flames.

As firefighters were doing their duties, neighbors outside were in search of the occupants. According to Battalion Chief Seth Key, who was at the scene, the house was searched and one was inside. He told the people gathered that the occupants had made contact.

Deputy Fire Chief John Thigpen suspected arson as the cause of the fire. “There looks to be two points of origin for this fire, a bedroom and the porch,” he said. “Arson is suspected and no accelerants were used. There was enough material around to start it without the use of accelerants,” he said.

“I called in the fire marshal because of two suspected points of origin,” Thigpen added.

A sign has been placed outside the home indicating a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for arson.

“Maybe this will get people to tell us something,” Thigpen said.

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