Suspicious? Mayoral candidate’s house burned to ground days after entering race

Karen Powell. Photo: WSB-TV

Karen Powell. Photo: WSB-TV

According to WSB-TV, Karen Powell’s house burned to the ground four days after she qualified for the mayoral race in the 4,500 person city of Temple, Ga.

Although she told WSB-TV she was suspicious about the timing of the fire, she isn’t sure whether or not it was intentionally set or if it relates to her race. After all, Powell is running to become the first African-American mayor of Temple. Mostly, she’s just shocked.

“I’m a little jittery, yes. I’m a little nervous,” she told Channel 2 Action News’ Tom Jones. “I’ve had the worst weekend I’ve ever had in my entire life.”

The home that burned down Saturday night is one of two houses that sits on Powell’s property which crosses from Caroll County into Haralson County. The home that lies smoldering in the earth mere days after she qualified for the mayoral race sits in Haralson County. She told WSB-TV that her son lived in the house, but was not home when the fire caught.

Fire officials are still investigating the incident to determine how it started and whether or not it was an act of arson.

The city of Temple is mostly inhabited by Caucasians, according to the 2000 census. Nearly 85 percent of residents identified as White with about 14 percent identifying as African-American. It sits about 25 miles away from the Georgia – Alabama border.

Powell told WSB-TV that she had the worst weekend of her life due to the fire and illnesses related to her son and her sister, but questions remain to be answered as to the cause of the fire and its relationship to her mayoral candidacy.

Haralson County officials along with the state Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives authorities are investigating the fire that destroyed Powell’s home.

Morgan Mornet

Morgan is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgia State University's journalism program with a focus on public relations and a minor in English. Good thing she also decided to take lots of news and media writing electives along with a study abroad trip to Istanbul, Turkey that focused on media, business and journalism in a global context because it turns out she loves reading news, advocating for progressive civil rights and then telling other people about it. She covers "hard" local and associated news stories in the South for Biscuette, freelances and assists with media analysis and relations at an Atlanta-based international non-profit. 

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