Are fires at palm-tree farm, vacant home connected?

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MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. – Two large fires kept Rural Metro fire crews busy Thursday morning, but it's not yet clear if those fires are related.

The first fire was at a palm-tree farm in the area of 183rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, an unincorporated area outside of Phoenix. It started at about 4:30 a.m.

Thick white smoke pouring off the burning palm fronds was visible all over the far West Valley. The wind was blowing that dense smoke to the southwest. Bethany Home Road was closed in that area.

While firefighters did have things under control, aerial video showed the still-smoldering palm fronds at about 6:30.

It’s not known what sparked the fire.

The second fire started about 30 minutes later at a vacant home under construction less than a mile away. There reportedly was no electricity to the large home. Based on aerial video from the scene, that house is a total loss. Most of the roof is gone and flames virtually gutted the interior.

There reportedly were no construction crews at the home recently.

Rural Metro fire officials said the house was one of three homes in the area that were under construction and then later abandoned.

No other details about that house fire were immediately available, but firefighters do believe it is suspicious.

It's not clear if the two fires are related. A fire investigator will be looking into both incidents.

No injuries were reported in either fire.