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Seven house fires this week; four believed to be purposely set

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 9:13 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Just in this week alone, the Charleston Fire Department has had to fight the flames of seven house fires and one brush fire.

“The ones that we believe were purposely set are Sixth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, Beech Avenue and Sixth Street,” Charleston Fire Department Fire Marshal R.J. Symns said.

Symns said five of the house fires were vacant. He believes four of the fires were arson, and investigators believe three of them could be connected. However, Symns said due to the ongoing investigation, they do not want to release which three they believe to be connected.

On Wednesday we reported three separate house fires that occurred within a couple hours of one another. Firefighters said the house fire along the 1500 block of Sixth Avenue and the 1500 block of Seventh Avenue, happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. It was roughly two hours later when a third house caught fire around 4:45 a.m. along the 1400 block of Beech Avenue.

The sixth fire happened around 2:30 a.m. Friday along the 1600 block of Chandler Drive. As of Friday, Symns said investigators do not believe that fire was intentionally set.

“Some of them I believe are arson, but some of them I believe are a coincidence,” Symns told WSAZ. “They’re just running at the same time as the others.”

Jessica Hughart and Taylor Ferrell said they own the home along Chandler Drive and though firefighters believe the home was not set on fire, Hughart said it’s still an uneasy feeling knowing other homes in the community are going up in flames intentionally.

“It’s a little bit scary knowing that someone’s just going around setting houses on fire for the fun of it,” Hughart said. “Just really a lot of stress, coming to see a house we thought we were going to make into a home be on fire, it was just like our dreams that we had set up, burning up in front of us.”

The most recent fire broke out along the 700 block of Main Street around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Firefighters said an aquarium was the cause of this particular fire and the damage was not major.

No injuries were reported from any of the fires.

As of now, Symns said they have leads on a possible suspect(s) for the fires they believe were intentionally set and are following up on them.

Keeping checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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