APD investigating suspicious fires

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AHOSKIE – The Ahoskie Police Department has developed a person of interest in a series of six suspicious fires over the past week.

Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said that one vehicle and a home were the two worst cases of this alleged arsonist, both occurring on Aug. 14.  He stated that gas was apparently poured over a portion of a vehicle parked in a driveway of a residence in the 700 block of North Maple Street.

“The gas was ignited and burned the vehicle from its rear tires to the back bumper,” Fitzhugh said.  “The vehicle is pretty much a total loss.”

As the APD officer investigating the vehicle fire was wrapping up, he received a second call to respond to a report of a residential fire in the 200 block ofWest Hayes Street.

“Upon his arrival, the fire department had extinguished a gas can found burning on the sidewalk,” Fitzhugh said. “We then discovered burn marks on one side of the residence. There appeared to be gas splashed on the side of the house and an attempt made to light it.”

The most serious of the fires took place late in the morning of Aug. 14 where an occupied residence in the 500 block of North Catherine Streetwas damaged. Upon arrival of emergency responders, the back side of the home was on fire. While the occupants were able to make their way to safety and escape injury, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.

One day later (Wednesday, Aug. 15) an attempt was made to set fire to a residence in the 400 block of North Mitchell Street. Fitzhugh said a passerby noticed the fire and extinguished it prior to the arrival of the fire department.

Two additional cases were reported on Tuesday of this week – a gas jug found burning in the driveway of a residence in the 500 block of Colony Ave. near Church Street, and articles of clothing on fire in the middle of the intersection of Pine and Alton streets.

“We are trying to link all these incidents together as it is our belief that only one person is responsible for setting these fires,” Fitzhugh said.

In the meantime, anyone with information concerning this series of fires is encouraged to contact APD Captain Michele Garrett or Detective Sgt. Stephen White at 332-5011.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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