Surveillance camera shows someone outside home before fire

A suspect was spotted on video before a house suspiciously burned on Easter morning. (WSMV)

A couple’s dream home was destroyed but what the camera captured just seconds before has the community on edge.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office are now investigating the house fire because of the video showing it was no accident.

The home was Pamela and Tommy McClanahan’s dream retirement home. They were building it from the ground up.

“We had it all dried in and had a roof on it,” said Tommy McClanahan.

Now that someone has burned it to the ground, they’re afraid to bring their grandkids here.

“I just don’t feel safe with them right now knowing that somebody would do something like that,” said Pamela McClanahan.

The person who set the fire may have thought they would get away with it, that everyone would just think it was a tragic accident.

What they didn’t know was they were being watched.

A surveillance camera set up to watch wildlife shows a person with a flashlight seconds before the fire starts.

“One of the detectives said ‘Oh no, that’s a person,’” said Pamela McClanahan. “He said that’s definitely a person. He said that fire is deliberately set.”

The fire occurred on Easter morning when the McClanahans were out of town.

They said they have no idea who would set the fire or why.

They said the only reason they had cameras were to capture wildlife.

“I was never considering somebody would be roaming the property getting ready to burn my house down. I’ve never felt threatened at all out here,” said Tommy McClanahan.

The couple is wanting to warn their neighbors.

“There’s somebody out there and they should be sleeping with an eye out there as well,” said Tommy McClanahan.

"If anybody out there knows anything, please, please help us find this person so that we can all rest better," said Pamela McClanahan.

The McClanahans plan to rebuild in the same spot. They don’t want to let the arsonist win. The couple does have insurance to cover the damage.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009.

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