No injuries were reported following a fire at a two-story house on Lake Tyler early Wednesday morning.
According to Smith County officials, a house on Slack Road near Hill Creek Park belonging to Norman Paul Manziel, Johnny Manziel’s grandfather, caught fire and burned down. Three vehicles were also destroyed.
Officials received the call around 1:30 a.m. When crews arrived on scene about 12 minutes later, the house was fully involved but was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks said the home had already begun to collapse when firefighters arrived.
According to the Smith County Appraisal District, the property was valued at $408,438.
Whitehouse, Flint-Gresham, Chapel Hill and Smith County Fire all assisted in extinguishing the blaze.
The fire has been deemed suspicious and will be investigated further by the ATF. A accelerant detection canine from Denton has been called in to help with the case.
“We would like to thank the public for their support during this investigation and appreciate their understanding while we take the necessary time to do a complete and thorough investigation. Future information will be released as deemed necessary and appropriate,“ said Brooks.
Authorities have started a “dig out” process to learn more about the blaze. Brooks said the fire is believed to have originated in the back half of the house.
Witnesses said silverware was found lying outside the house, but officials could not confirm or deny a theft occurred until after the dig is completed.
“We woke up this morning and we had text messages from some of our friends afraid that their house was going to burn down because they were next door,” said Olivia Hardt, a resident who lives across the lake from the Manziel home.
“It’s really unnerving having this happen in your neighborhood. From our front yard we used to be able to see their house, but now it’s gone. It’s really, really kind of scary. I think everyone is just anxious to hear what happened for peace of mind. We really hope it wasn’t anything malicious.”
There are no suspects at this time.