by: Dave Faherty Updated:
LENOIR, N.C. - Firefighters in Lenoir are investigating three suspicious fires in the last 24 hours.
One firefighter had to be rushed to the hospital after fighting one of those fires Sunday night.
Firefighters can't say all of the fires are linked, but they said four minutes after getting on the scene, another call came in just a few blocks away.
"The smoke started gushing," said neighbor Alysia Crowe.
Crowe could see the fire across the street in the recording studio along Willow street. Inside, Channel 9 spotted investigators in the room where they believe it started.
Firefighters said that part of the home had no power to it, and four minutes after getting on the scene Sunday night, a second call went out just a few blocks away at the New Dimension substance-abuse counseling center.
"No power running to that, either. What we try to find out is the ignition source, and right now we haven't determined one of those. And obviously, with the power being out we can rule that out," said Deputy Chief Ken Hair with Lenoir Fire.
Alger Harper owns the counseling center, which helps approximately 100 people each year. He showed Channel 9 some of the damage inside and said water will have to be pumped out of the basement, where the fire started.
"I don't know anyone who would intentionally set this fire, but it is odd that we had two fires at the same time," Harper said.
One firefighter was rushed to the hospital after being treated for dehydration while fighting one of the fires. Investigators say he has been released and is expected to be alright. The fires here have neighbors concerned and watching out for each other.
"Makes me worry a lot. From now on, I'm going to keep an eye out every time and look around," Crowe said.