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Hall authorities call house fire 'suspicious'
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An early morning fire Thursday in the 2400 block of Spring Road in Gainesville burned an unoccupied building down to the floor joists. Power service was not connected, and the Hall County Fire Department is investigating. A neighbor said the building had been used as a church. - photo by NAT GURLEY

An early Thursday fire that destroyed a vacant home has been labeled suspicious, fire officials said.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said firefighters responded around 3:15 a.m. to the “fully involved” blaze in the 2400 block of Spring Road off McEver Road in Hall County.

Cagle reported neighbors reported the 1,500-square-foot structure had been used as a church, which the county marshal confirmed.

“We’ve made a little progress,” Cagle said of the investigation. “We found who the owner was finally. It evidently had been signed over from one family member to another family member.”

“That’s what we’ve been trying to do today is find the owner, and see if they know anything.”

Investigators have angles to pursue, he said.

“One neighbor earlier this morning said they did see young adults in the area that afternoon, and we’re going to continue questioning folks in the area, and start to talk to certain contacts in the area,” he said. “We just have descriptions of people in the area. We don’t have any names yet.”

Cagle stressed that the word “suspicious” doesn’t imply a specific, destructive intent.

“It really remains suspicious just because of the house being vacant for so long, but a suspicious fire could be vagrants trying to stay warm, for example,” he said.

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