EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE)-
Fire investigators say someone intentionally set a fire at home just before dawn Sunday morning while a family of five was asleep inside.
Residents say this isn't the first time their house on East Tennessee Street has been threatened by fire. They say the neighboring house caught fire back in May, sending thick smoke their way.
The fire Sunday morning didn't make it inside the home, but was enough to scare the family.
Pounding on the door and sirens served as an early alarm clock for the family on Sunday morning.
"They were up real early whenever it started around, I don't know 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning, and then we were woken to fire trucks and everything else swarming us," resident Ryan Jones said.
Jones says a neighbor thought they saw a candle burning on the porch, but quickly realized the fire was spreading on the wooden gate surrounding the porch. That neighbor called 911 and went to the door to get the family.
What looks like it was a small fire, could have been a big disaster if it had spread to the home.
"Yeah, it could have caught the whole house on fire and could have slept right through it, you know, If they hadn't gone to work that day, could have went up with it. Probably saved our life in a roundabout way," Jones told 14 News.
Fire investigators say there is evidence gasoline was used as an accelerant. The family says they have their suspicions about who may have been threatening them, but usually the neighborhood doesn't see this type of crime.
"You know, I mean, this part of town you have to keep everything locked up or it'll walk off. For the most part, everybody stays to themselves and no trouble," Jones said.
The family says they're thankful for neighbors who look out for one another. As for Jones, another construction project on a new porch that was almost complete.
"I guess the work never stops. Somebody just burned it all up in one night," Jones said.
The family says they think bags of rock salt are partially responsible for putting out the fire.
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