Investigators probing possible arson following early morning house fire in Birmingham

Home at 404 Maple Avenue in Birmingham. (

Birmingham fire investigators believe a house fire early Tuesday morning may have been an act of retaliatory arson.

Around 1:20 a.m., firefighters responded to a home at 404 Maple Avenue. They arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames and the words "now we even" spray painted on the exterior.

A women living at the home was able to escape the blaze unharmed thanks to smoke alarms. Her three children were not at home when the fire started.An investigation into who started the fire remains ongoing.

We will continue to follow this possible arson and the investigation surrounding it.


Bishop Theo Bailey is Arneatra Brazziel's pastor. Brazziel lost her home in the early morning fire.

"They are a little shaken, because as with any fire, nobody is expecting anything to happen," says Bailey. "When I got to my office this morning, this met me immediately. I thought I better come on up here and see what we can do."The words "now we even" spray painted on the side of the house make many wonder if this was a retaliatory move.{} An SUV parked behind the house had a large stone thrown through the back window. "In the midst of the speculations, there's something printed on the house that indicates this maybe something to do with some revenge or something. But you know, we need to come to a place where we can talk about things. This is certainly not a resolve to anything," says Bailey.Bishop Bailey says this family has been through hardships before. The house was damaged in the April 27, 2011 tornado. Now, fire gutted it.

Arneatra Brazziel has no insurance. "Right now our church is going to put her in one of our houses, then our helps ministries are working to get her children some clothes and some of the things they're going to need," says Bailey.

ABC 33/40 still has not received word from Birmingham Fire and Rescue that this fire is being treated as an arson. Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams told says are still waiting to hear from fire investigators too.

Anyone wanting to make donations to the family can do so at Christ Temple Deliverance Church.{} located at 2512 Avenue D. Clothes, furniture and monetary donations are accepted.