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Arson destroys abandoned house, damages 5 other homes


PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) --It wasn't Christmas lights that lit up the ... We could have lost our lives and our homes." The fire damaged five homes and fried overhead power lines that cut off power to the neighborhood for several hours.


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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It wasn't Christmas lights that lit up the 1500 block of 4th Street in Portsmouth early Wednesday, but flames from a fire officials say was intentionally set. "It happened so fast," said Christy Lemasters"There were electrical lines everywhere, sparks everywhere." Lemasters was awakened to what she describes as an explosion right outside her bedroom windowThe fire melted the siding on her home, including on the exterior wall where her baby sleeps. "I opened that window and the heat ..my face was burning through the glass you could feel itThat's how hot it wasIt could have been a lot worseWe could have lost our lives and our homes." The fire damaged five homes and fried overhead power lines that cut off power to the neighborhood for several hours. Lemasters says she's lived in the neighborhood for four years and just moved in to a new home four months agoShe's seen the neighborhood turn around for the better but is afraid this may be a sign of change for the worseShe credits good neighbors for helping with the upkeep of their street.

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