Authorities seek help over suspicious fires

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s office is offering a $1,000reward for information leading to an arrest in a suspected arsonthat occurred Tuesday morning in addition to several other recentsuspicious fires.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Scott Barnes said a fire in a duplexat 322 East Monticello St. appears to be intentionally set. Thecall came in at 8:06 a.m., and when firefighters arrived, thecarpet was burning.

Upon further investigation, evidence of an intentional fire wasuncovered and the Fire Marshal’s office was called in.

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“The only thing we can say at this point is that it has beenclassified as an incendiary fire, the investigation is ongoing,” hesaid. “There was evidence found that the fire was intentionallyset.”

Officials are asking the public to call authorities if they sawanything suspicious the morning of the fire.

The investigations into two home fires that occurred within 24hours of each other on July 16 and 17 are still open as well.

The first was a bathroom fire in a home at 316 Industrial ParkRoad around 6 p.m. on July 16.

The second, at the corner of Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Drive andOld Wesson Road, occurred around 4:45 a.m. July 17. The house wasbeing remodeled.

The two July fires do not appear to be linked, Barnes said, andthere are no suspects in the cases.

Barnes said anyone with information is asked to contact eitherthe state Fire Marshal’s office at (601) 359-1061 or (888)648-0877. Any information leading to an arrest and conviction of anarsonist pays up to a $1,000 reward, Barnes said.

Additionally, Brookhaven Fire Department investigators arelooking for information on a car that was set on fire in front ofthe D&D Quick Stop at 821 Highway 51 North recently. The firehas been ruled to be an intentional fire as well, investigatorssaid. The 1989 Toyota Corolla was for sale, and was parked onHighway 51.

Officials said the fire began early in the morning, in the hoursjust after midnight. They believe there are people in the area whomay have seen something during that time, or who may have heardsomething about the incident.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Lincoln CountyCrimestoppers at (601) 823-0150.