Fayetteville property owner says overnight fire is arson

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The man who owns a house destroyed in an overnight blaze says an arsonist is behind the fire.

"I got an idea of who started this one," said Robert Anderson. "The guy who was working for me, I fired him. I saw him yesterday afternoon here and he asked for his job back and the reason I fired him is he didn't come to work."

Authorities pinned an unattended candle to the fire that destroyed 363 Dick Street shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday. Anderson said the woman who rents the home has been hospitalized for six months, recovering from a stroke.

"I've been holding the house for her," said Anderson, adding all of the woman's belongings had been burned.

Anderson said a neighborhood tipster supported his suspicion that a former employee set the home on fire. He also said there is surveillance video from a nearby convenience store.

If this is arson, it would be the fifth Anderson property set on fire in the past year. Anderson, who owns dozens of properties across Cumberland County, said one defendant is set for sentencing this week. Several of the other arsons are also along Dick Street.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, investigators said they were unaware of the information Anderson provided. Anderson said he had not heard from officials, and found out about the fire when he came to the neighborhood to work on another property. He said he would be touching base with authorities Wednesday.

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