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Arson suspected in 2 Daytona Beach house fires; Attempted arson suspected on 3rd home

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating two suspicious early-morning fires in Daytona Beach and a third attempted arson, officials said.

Firefighters from Daytona Beach Fire Department responded to the 500 block of Lenox Avenue about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and found a one-story, wood-frame home with a fully involved porch fire.

"I fixed something to eat and I was in my living room when I saw the lights going off," said neighbor Jay Anthony.

Officials said the previous residents had moved out earlier in the week and the home was supposed to be vacant.

When fire crews arrived, heavy smoke and flames were coming from the porch area, and beginning to cloud the front bedroom and living room area.

Firefighters were able to make an aggressive attack on the fire and prevent it from consuming the entire home.

There was another vacant house on fire about a block away on Phoenix Avenue, officials said. Investigators are also calling that fire suspicious.

At this point, officials said the fires are not connected to arson investigations in Orlando and Sanford.

Firefighters said multiple residents in the area stated they could see smoke and flames coming from the roof. The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and is believed to have started on the exterior of the structure, officials said.

Fire officials said they believe someone tried to set a third home on fire across the street from the Lenox Avenue home, but failed.

During the initial investigation into the cause of the fires, officials discovered evidence that suggested the fires were suspicious in nature and called the State Fire Marshal's Office for assistance.

"No one was home at the time this fire started, again, at the time of day and the fact that no one was home, it is suspicious to us," said Lt. Larry R. Stoney, of the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

Stoney said officials are working to determine whether Wednesday's fires are connected to the ones set in Thornton Park and Sanford. So far, the fires have not been linked.

The State Fire Marshal's Office will continue to investigate the incident to determine the cause of the fires.

Early reports state that the fire caused roughly $50,000 in damages to the Lenox Avenue home.

Investigators posted a sign offering a reward for any information.

No injuries were reported.

Read about Thornton Park, Sanford fires: