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Mississippi fire marshal offers $5K reward for info on fires

(AP) — The State Fire Marshal’s office is offering a $5,000 reward for information on a rash of fires in rural Lauderdale County.
Sheriff Billy Sollie told The Meridian Star that eight suspicious fires have been reported over the last year in the Northwest part of the county. The buildings were abandoned when the fires occurred, and no injuries were reported, he said.
The latest fire was Monday night and destroyed the old Martin school and store near Collinsville Martin Road and Newton Martin Road. Sollie said investigators are looking for someone who was in the area from dusk to 7 p.m. on Monday, shortly before the fire was reported.
Volunteers firefighters from Bailey, Collinsville, Suqualena, Dufee and Beulah Hubbard fire departments helped in putting out the fire. Water tanks were brought in from the Sam Dale and Toomsuba stations.
Martin Volunteer Fire Chief Jeremy Pogue said the department responded to another fire a few months ago at another abandoned building.
Sollie said anyone with information about the fires should call East Mississippi Crimestoppers at 1-855-485-TIPS or the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department at 601-482-9806.