Officials say East Nashville fire was arson

Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3:01am
Staff reports

A five-alarm fire on Wilburn Street in East Nashville has been ruled as arson by the Nashville Fire Department.

The five-alarm fire started in the vacant structure at 316 Wilburn and quickly spread to the occupied homes at 314 and 318 Wilburn St. All three structures were destroyed and two adjoining properties were also damaged. Although there were no injuries, 23 people were left homeless that night.

The Metro Codes Department had taken heat since the fire because of a lengthy list of homes slated for demolition that had not been torn down.

Shortly after the blaze, Mayor Karl Dean requested an additional $114,000 be allocated for the demolition of 15 dilapidated buildings.

Another arson fire in September had left the Wilbur Street home where the fire started vacant.

Fire investigators are asking for assistance from anyone who may have information.

Anyone with information that results in the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible may be eligible for a reward. Please contact the Nashville Fire Department at 862-5230 or Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.

A fund has been set up for the victims of the Wilburn Street fire at First Tennessee Bank.