EARLIER: Arson suspected in house fire

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By Lisa King

Fire officials suspect arson in a fire on Jail Hill Road that destroyed a home in the predawn hours Wednesday morning, Shelby County Fire Chief Bobby Cowherd said.

"We sent an arson dog in last night, and he picked up some evidence that was suspicious," Cowherd said.

The fire is being investigated by Maj. Andy White of the Shelby County Fire Department and Senior Deputy Rob Goodwin of the State Fire Marshal's Office, and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

The home, located at 353 Jail Hill Road, is owned by Rodney Mullins, who was either renting it or selling it on a land contract, Cowherd said.

No one was at home at the time of the blaze, which was called in at about 3 a.m. Cowherd said when firefighters arrived, the two-story home was fully involved in fire.

The blaze was difficult to fight because the house had additions with two different types of roofs, including a metal roof on the back of the house.

"This made it difficult to get to hot spots after the roof collapsed," he said. "It required the fire department to stay on the scene for several hours to remove debris and extinguish hot spots."

The chief said firefighters had the blaze under control by 3:14 and remained on the scene until 5:51 a.m.

But the home, which was under renovation, sustained major damage.

North 7th Street was shut down for about three hours while 36 firefighters responded to the blaze, with EMS on the scene and Shelbyville Fire on standby during the fire.