Accomack County feels economic impact of arsons

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by Eric Kane, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 8:41 PM

ACCOMACK CO.-- As volunteer firefighters continue battling the rising number of arsons on the Eastern Shore, they are seeing a burning hole in their bottom line.

The Accomack County Department of Public Safety says 14 fire stations have responded to 44 suspected cases of arson since Nov. 14,   They've sent an average of 20 volunteers to each fire and estimate hundreds of firefighters have now racked up close to 100 man-hours.

The department says they're also paying 65% more in fuel costs in order to fight these fires, increasing from $2,000 to $3,000 per month.

According to Virginia State Police, someone intentionally set two fires over the weekend, including an airplane hangar in Onley and an abandoned barn in Parksley.

“It was pretty shocking, it's so close to home,” said Ann Weinheimer.

Weinheimer lives just across the street from her brother's hangar. She says the community is fed-up with the fires, and she feels for the volunteers.

"It's just one night after another, and the resources, and the expense is, I would imagine, very challenging for them, but also physically draining," said Weinheimer.

With the serial arsonist still on the loose, people in Accomack County wonder what might be the next target.

While Weinheimer says she felt violated by the fire, she has a strong message for the person responsible.

"Get help, get help. Don't destroy our property.  I'm sorry for whatever is wrong, whatever is troubling or upsetting, but don't hurt other people."

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