— By CHRISTIN COYNE
Hours after authorities took a man into custody Monday afternoon after locating a suspected pipe bomb in a residence where he was staying, a nearby house, where the man was also reported to have been staying, burned to the ground.
The single-wide mobile home that burned, located in the 1300 block of Oakridge Road in northeast Parker County, had been searched earlier in the day during the investigation, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reportedly removed a pipe bomb from a house two doors down that evening.
A woman who had been staying with the man who was taken into custody was reported to be removing items from the house that burned when the fire started sometime before 8:45 p.m., Scott said. She reported hearing a pop near the porch area.
Flames were through the roof when firefighters arrived and the structure burned quickly, according to ESD No. 1 Fire Chief Eric Vinson.
The cause of the fire remained undetermined early Tuesday due to the extent of damage to the home and the recent circumstances, according to Scott, who said electrical issues with the home he noted earlier in the day likely contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
Neighbors said they have feared for their safety over the past several months.
One man said he wouldn’t go out to eat with his wife and leave his house in the evening for fear of the ongoing crime problem in the neighborhood.
Another neighbor, Brian Stronks, claimed he was assaulted with a gun several days prior.
Read more in the Democrat Wednesday.