SALISBURY, N.C. -- Investigators say a fire that damaged part of missing Rowan County teenager Erica Parsons’ family home might not be accidental. They now plan to test fire debris to help determine the official cause.
ATF, FBI, firefighters and other investigators returned to the house on Miller Chapel Road Thursday afternoon for a second look at the microwave and the wiring in and around it.
A source familiar with the events confirms the second look at the house is also due to a member of the Parsons family bragging about being able to start a house fire with a microwave.
NBC Charlotte isn't naming the family member because no one has been arrested or charged in the fire, or is even considered a suspect, investigators said.
The fire started Wednesday morning after the owner, William Parsons, turned the electrical switches back on so he could start remodeling the house after Casey and Sandy, Erica's adoptive parents, moved out due to an eviction dispute.
"I heard some cracking and went back up in the house, and the microwave was on fire," Parsons said.
He believes it was an accident.
"I wouldn't have no otherwise to figure it to be. I have no other proof of anything," Parsons said.
Investigators are checking whether the wiring may have been connected to a metal plate that could have heated up and started the wall on fire. They are not saying the fire was sabotage, just that they want to be able to rule it in or out with further analysis and testing.
Casey Parsons says the family had electrical problems caused by the microwave several times before.
"The microwave has given us trouble before. I told Steve (William Parsons) that information so he was aware the microwave gave trouble. Me and my husband bought the microwave. It was bought as-is at a discount price," Parsons said. "In June of this year we had a fire, same house, in the meter box, not a big fire, due to the microwave."
Parsons says it left the family without power for about 18 hours and the meter box had to be replaced.
Parsons also says no one they know of bragged about starting a microwave fire. They haven't been in the house in a while and were saddened to hear about the fire because it was their family home until they moved out.