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Whispering Pines Motel Becomes 65th Target Of Suspected Accomack Arsonist

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The Whispering Pines Motel smolders after being razed by an arsonist.
Bryan Russo
The Whispering Pines Motel smolders after being razed by an arsonist.

On Virginia's Eastern Shore, a dilapidated hotel became the latest target in a string of arson fires that now totals 65. Officials are confident they will soon catch the elusive firestarters.

The Whispering Pines Motel was once a lovely and bustling destination for tourists in Accomack County, but its southern charm is now nothing more than a smoldering ruin, after arsonists set fire to it in the late hours of the night on Tuesday.

The motel had been vacant for years and fallen into disrepair, but it becomes the 65th arson fire to be set in the county since November and by far, the largest.

Jeff Trewilliger, the director of public safety in Accomack County, says the arsonists are targeting mostly vacant structures. But with more than 600 such buildings in the county, there are a lot of targets.

"It's a rural area, very large in size, properties are very spread out, so it makes it difficult to see all the abandoned structures that are there," Trewilliger says.

He says it's not a matter of if they will find the suspects, it's when.

"We are going to find this individual, and we are going to hold them accountable and bring them to justice," Trewilliger says.

But until then, locals in Accomack are hoping to just get through a few nights in a row without hearing the fire whistle.

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