CROSS PLAINS, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A structure fire broke out in Cross Plains Sunday evening, destroying a building and marking this fire as the third in not quite three weeks, which has caused concern for many Cross Plains residents. Now, as rumors of arson circulate, the Cross Plains Police Department (CPPD) work to squash the popular theory.

“If that person could have seen the fear on my grandkid’s face, would they be sorry for what they did,” asked Terrie Parum, the owner of the home whose front porch caught on fire a couple of weeks earlier.

Although this case is still under investigation, police told KTAB/KRBC the department has reason to believe it was arson. Awaking to the high pitched beeps from her smoke detector, Parum said she was able to get her daughter and grandchildren out of the house in time, before anyone got hurt. 

Barely being able to get her words out, Parum said, “To put my three grandchildren – their lives in danger, that’s the most terrifying – I’ll start crying.” 

According to Parum, a private investigator also told her the fire was set intentionally. 

“I don’t know anybody in this town that is that mean,” she leveled. 

When a mobile home and a building burned down just a couple of weeks later, you can imagine what Parum believed caused it. She said others in town also believe there could be an arsonist going around. 

“Everybody’s just scared and sitting on pins and needles about ‘is there going to be another one,'” Parum explained, “and ‘Who’s next?’”

Parum said she hears people talk about it in the grocery and almost everywhere she goes. 

However, the owner of Parker Custom Iron Works – which most recently burned down – Jeff Parker, said he doesn’t believe it was intentional. Sometimes crazy coincidences happen, Parker attributed. It seems to be true for his family, as another fire burned down Parker’s nephew’s mobile home on July 12, taking his life in the process. 

“I don’t think they’re connected. I don’t know of anybody that would be targeting us,” Parker said. “I just think it’s a horrible coincidence.”

Some Cross Plains residents have asked KTAB/KRBC to get to the bottom of this, but CPPD officer Christopher Rios said this rumor is just that: A rumor, and it’s one that’s causing fear in the town. 

“So the two fires this week, we do not believe they are they result of arson,” Officer Rios explained. “We have no evidence.”

Police said Sunday’s fire is believed to have been started by welding or cutting that was going on before the fire broke out. Nobody was harmed, but the building was completely destroyed. 

As for the mobile home fire, which killed Parker’s nephew, it’s still under investigation. But police said they don’t believe foul play was involved.