UPDATE @ 5:47 p.m.: Several people have been taken into custody for questioning by police after a garage fire in Middletown, according to police Lt. Jimmy Cunningham.
The city’s arson task force was brought in to investigate, Cunningham said, and police are processing evidence collected.
Cunningham did not say exactly how may people were brought in for questioning by police.
At the scene, one person was escorted by a Middletown detective into a home next door to the burned down garage. When the neighbor and the detective exited the home, a Confederate flag that hung in a second-story window of the home had been removed.
There was tension among the neighbors while police were at the scene this afternoon, according to eyewitnesses.
UPDATE @ 4:45 p.m.:
The woman who lives at the Woodside Drive residence where a garage was destroyed by fire was not home when the flames broke out, according to friends and family.
The resident used the garage to store furniture and winter clothing, according to her friends and family.
UPDATE @ 4:30 p.m.:
Sue Massey, who lives on Garden Avenue, was out walking when she smelled smoke and then saw fire coming from the garage on Woodside Drive.
Massey said she heard “one loud boom” and about 15 minutes later the garage was gone.
Police tape has been set up around three properties near the garage fire in the 1200 block of Woodside Drive
When asked if she knew of any problems in the neighborhood, Massey said she had seen more of a police presence lately.
Middletown firefighters are on the scene of a garage fire in the 1200 block of Woodside Drive.
No report yet on injuries, but the fire, reported about 3:10 p.m. created a large plume of heavy black smoke.
Woodside Drive runs parallel with Verity Parkway and is across the street from Rosa Parks Elementary.
Police tape has been set up around three properties.
The aluminum siding on the houses on either side of the garage appear to be melted and the garage appears to be a total loss.
Monroe Fire Department responded to the scene for mutual aid, and Middletown police detectives are on the scene.
We have a crew at the scene and will continue to update this story.