ACCOMACK CO. - A serial arsonist may be back at work on the Eastern Shore.
Va. State Police say two fires were set Sunday, damaging a storage shed on Nelsonia Road and burning brush and tires about 11 miles away on Coastal Boulevard. They're the first suspicious fires in nearly a month and may be connected to more than three dozen fires in the county last year.
Herb Kelder lives next door to where the shed burned on Nelsonia Road and says his son spotted the fire as it was just starting.
Kelder's son ran over to make sure no one was in a trailer next to the burning shed and believes he may have just missed seeing the arsonist leave the scene.
“Yeah, my son just couldn't believe it. He said more than likely when the fire took off (the arsonist) probably ran one way or the other, but it was dark and he said he never seen him,” says Kelder.
About a dozen tires burned in front of F &G Automotive in Onley and although management says they weren’t worth much money, the flames torched a billboard above the tires.
No one was working at F &G Automotive on Sunday night when the fire started, and management assumes a person driving by called 911.
The first arson was reported in Accomack County on Nov. 13 and in 11 days, 20 fires had been set at mostly abandoned homes. By December 21, investigators were handling 36 cases of arson, many believed to be the work of one person while others may have been set by copycats, they said.
No one has been hurt in the fires.
Anyone with information can call Va. State Police at 1-800-582-8350 or at (757) 424-6820. You can also contact the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office at (757) 787-1131. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.