GARDEN VALLEY — A vacant home was destroyed in a Wednesday afternoon fire and fire officials suspect the cause was illegal burning.

Garth Groves, assistant fire chief of the Lindale Volunteer Fire Department, said crews were called to the 19000 block of County Road 443, off Farm-to-Market Road 16 near the Garden Valley community, twice on Wednesday.

He said the first call was an Illegal burn call around 2:30 p.m. and "before the fire marshal got back to Tyler" the same property was on fire again.

Groves said the department believes someone set a second fire after they left, but the Smith County Fire Marshal's office will be investigating the blaze. The second call came in at 4:06 p.m., he said.

A vacant cabin was destroyed in the fire, which also burned grass in the area.

Three nearby structures were saved by fire crews.

Lindale, Van, Dixie and Mineola volunteer departments responded to the scene.

The same fire crews responded to another fire in Shady Lane in the Enchanted Lakes community Wednesday. Groves said an old mobile home that was in the process of being demolished burned in that blaze. 

The fires are under investigation by the Smith County Fire Marshal's office.






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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.