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The investigation continued Monday afternoon into a fire that began in vehicle at a local residence in the wee hours of the morning.

The incident was initially reported to El Dorado police as a possible arson. By early afternoon Monday, the cause remained undetermined.

El Dorado firefighters and police responded just before 2 a.m. to a report of a fire at a residence at 1100 N. Gray.

A man, Douglass Williams, told police he had stepped outside the residence to smoke a cigarette and he immediately smelled smoke.

He said he walked toward the carpet and saw Beverly Malone’s vehicle ablaze underneath the carport. Malone lives at the North Gray residence.

Williams said several people — five adults and four children, ranging in age from newborn to 5 years old — were inside the residence at the time and he alerted them about the fire.

They all safely exited the residence, he said. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 3:23 a.m.

No further information was available Monday about the extent of damage to the house or vehicle.

Residents there said they believed the fire was deliberately set and identified a potential suspect. Police said they were unable to locate the man who was identified by the complainants.

EFD investigators had not yet determined the cause of the blaze Monday afternoon.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or [email protected]

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