An arson investigation is underway in Clarksville after three vehicles in a residential neighborhood were set ablaze within a 15-minute time frame early Monday morning.
Two of the vehicle fires occurred in driveways on Cherry Tree Drive and Boxcroft Court.
The other vehicle fire took place in front of a home on Gomer Road.
The vehicle fire on Cherry Tree Drive also damaged the exterior of two residences.
The 2006 Chevy Trailblazer on Cherry Tree Drive and the Ford F-150 on Boxcroft Court were destroyed by the fires.
The 1997 Ford Contour on Gomer Road sustained interior damage.
The Ford F-150 was in the driveway of Richard Grossman's home on Boxcroft Court.
“I thought my basement was on fire,” Grossman said. “I got everybody up and was getting them out of the house when we stepped out on the deck we saw what it really was.”
Grossman's brother's girlfriend owns the truck. He said she recently had the heater repaired and thought they could be the cause of the fire until more cars started to burn.
“The police were and before the fire department got here that one [on Cherry Tree Drive] went off and then that one [on Gomer Road] went off,” he said.
On Cherry Tree Drive, the police banging on Army Specialist Darrell Trousdale's front door woke his family including his three children six years old and younger.
“We stood across the street,” he said. “My family was in the back of one of the police cars and all we could do was watch the fire burn.”
He continued, “I couldn't understand why someone would want to cause that kind of damage. Something like that could have easily set the house on fire.”
The outside of Trousdale's home and the house next door were badly damaged by the car fire. His neighbors were not home at the time of the fire.
Clarksville police have not released any suspect information or said if they have developed a motive for the fires.
Both Grossman and Trousdale are fairly new to the neighborhood. Trousdale and his family moved in to their home in October.
Grossman bought his home in the spring of 2012.
Neither man has enemies they believe would target their homes.
“This is really a parent's worse nightmare having your child exposed to that kind of situation so early,” Trousdale said. “I want to go somewhere where that does not happen.”
After the fires both men are thinking about moving out of the neighborhood.
“Maybe I should move out of this neighborhood if you are going to have problems like that,” Grossman said. “It makes you wonder.”
He continued, “Hopefully it is just a one time thing, if it isn't then I guess I will know.”
No one was injured by the fires.
Anyone with information is urged to call Clarksville detectives at 931-648-0656 or the police department's tips line at 931-645-8477.