NEW BEDFORD — Just over a day after a yacht on Pope's Island was engulfed in flames, a fire deemed to be suspicious has destroyed an empty house in New Bedford's South End early this morning.

District Fire Chief James Fortin confirmed that no injuries were reported after the fire completely engulfed a three-story unoccupied home at 124 Bonney St. starting some time after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

"All floors were on fire when we arrived," Fortin said, adding that early reports of explosions at the property were likely due to the sounds of the fire blowing out the building's windows.

According to Fortin, the cause of the fire is likely suspicious, as a previous fire in the same empty building in January this year was found to have been intentionally set.

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Crews remained on scene at 6 a.m. after battling the blaze for several hours.

Firefighters managed to prevent serious damage to the occupied houses on either side of the building.

Despite some cosmetic damage to the homes' exterior vinyl siding, Fortin said, none of the neighboring families will be displaced.

The fire department and the state fire marshal's office are investigating.

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