Wooden Schoolhouse On Virginia's Eastern Shore Becomes 68th Arson Target | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Wooden Schoolhouse On Virginia's Eastern Shore Becomes 68th Arson Target

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On Virginia's Eastern Shore, an old wooden schoolhouse that dates back to the early 1900s became the latest target in a string of arsons that now totals 68 since November.

The schoolhouse was unoccupied, used by a local farmer for storage, but now, it's been completely destroyed in the fourth suspected arson this week, the 15th set fire this month.

Locals are worried the arsonist has raised the stakes, setting the largest of the 68 fires on Tuesday to the long abandoned Whispering Pines Motel, which sits just off Route 13, not far from a police checkpoint that was set up last weekend to search for suspects.

Al McMath is a lifelong resident of the county and was a victim of arson to the airplane hangar that sits on his family farm. He says volunteer firefighters are exhausted.

"These guys are getting up and going every night, it's hard on them, hard on the equipment," he says. "It costs a lot of money, so it's a strain on the community in that regard."

Officials say they need the public to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious, but they are also asking the community for resources like coffee and food for the volunteer firemen.

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