A representative with the state fire marshal’s office has confirmed the suspicions of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office that an early morning fire Wednesday south of Palestine was likely arson.

Shortly after 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, a neighbor reported a mobile home fire at 229 CR 154, just south of the Palestine city limits, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.

The residence’s owner — a 33-year-old female — was not home at the time of the fire, said Taylor, adding that his agency had responded to a criminal mischief call slightly more than 24 hours earlier at the same location during which eight bullets were reportedly shot through the mobile home’s exterior.

The woman was not home at the time of the earlier incident either, according to the sheriff.

On Wednesday, a representative of the state fire marshal’s office in Lufkin traveled to Anderson County to survey the damage, Taylor said.

“There’s going to be a lot of investigating and fact finding,” the sheriff said. “He (the state fire marshal’s representative) felt like there possibly had been accelerants used, but the lab’s the only way to tell.”

Taylor said lab results in the case will likely be available in another seven to 10 days.

The female resident had “repossessed” some land recently, according to the sheriff, and also had some type of conflict with her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

“She had a cast of potential enemies,” Taylor said. “We’ve definitely got an arson to investigate. The lab may tell us different and that’s fine.”

The estimated value of the mobile home — which was insured — was $75,000, according to the sheriff.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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