Person of interest identified in string of arsons in South Memphis

Memphis Fire Department develops person of interest in arsons
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Fire Department developed a person of interest in a series of arsons in the 38109 area.

Memphis Fire Department is searching for Delana Collier as the person of interest in the eight arsons in Westwood Shores.

The estimated value of damages is $289,500.

She is believed to be around the age of 19-25, white and female.

We’re also told she may change her hair frequently.

Neighbors say this is an ongoing problem in their community that started before these suspected arsons.

Tyrone Griggs is rehabbing a home in the 5-thousand block of Urbana Road, but the contractor has a problem.

“As fast as we can complete the project, someone sets it on fire,” said Griggs.

About two months ago, he says someone set it on fire, causing about 6 thousand dollars worth of damage.

However, the home Griggs is working on is not included in a series of arsons that Memphis fire officials say have occurred in this South Memphis neighborhood just off third in the Coral Lake community.

Investigators say they suspect eight arsons total, the first occurring on June 25th, then six more within days of each other.

The last one happening on September 20th happens to be right next door to Tyrone Griggs’s home rehab.

He thinks it was related to the fire at his home just a couple of months ago.

“I believe it is the same people that continue to burn the properties, but we don’t know what to do. We don’t have no cameras, surveillance to survey the area,” said Griggs.

All eight suspected arsons are within walking distance of each other.

Louis Conley says he’s lived next door to a suspected arson on Bowers for 20 years, and while it was once occupied by a family, it soon became a drug house.

“I could see the cars pulling up, dropping the drugs off, and leaving,” said Conley.

He said over the years, it has also become a notorious home for squatters.

“It has been an eyesore. I done called the police numerous times. The house done caught on fire twice,” said Conley.

Conley says it was a small porch fire when it happened several months ago, the suspected arson fire on September 15th was much more intense.

Just around the corner on Margaret at another suspected arson location, neighbors say it’s completely normal to wake up to drug needles in the yard.

Neighbors say abandoned homes can be a hotbed for criminal activity.

“If they don’t demolish the property, that means they’re just going to continue. It’s a snowball effect,” said Griggs.

If you have any information about where investigators can locate Delana “DC” Collier for questioning call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH or the state arson hotline at 1-800-762-3017.

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