UPDATE: Investigators Say Arson to Blame for House Fire

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COLUMBIA - Lara Dieringer said she was woken up by her dog when her next door neighbor's house caught fire Saturday.

Fire Investigators have now determined that fire on West Blvd. was deliberately set.

"It's very scary," Dieringer said. "It's very frightening that that happens right here in your neighborhood."

According to a press release, fire investigators will be working with the Columbia Police Department to determine the actual cause of the fire.

Dieringer said she was scared because the owners of the home have several small children, but she was happy to hear none of them were home at the time of the fire.

KOMU 8 News spoke to Andrea Brookins, the owner of the home, she said she believes the arson was gang related.

Brookins also said her son was connected to Sunday night's shooting on Providence Rd.,  and she believes the same gang that set fire to her home also fired at her son.

KOMU 8 News made repeated calls to the fire and police departments after receiving the release, but neither would return those calls.