WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Accomack County Experiences Another Suspicious Fire

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

Another suspicious fire has taken place in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. If investigators classify the fire as arson, it will mark the 74th such fire since last November.

Many of the old farmhouses being targeted are used only during the summer by visitors or migrant workers who harvest and pack produce. State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya says the arsons happen at night, and neighbors live a mile or more away from each other making it difficult to see anyone suspicious.

"There's over 700 abandoned buildings in just the Accomack County area," she says. "We're looking at over 400 square miles."

Much of the evidence is either burned or washed away by fire hoses. But investigators do have the beginnings of a profile.

"This person or persons are very familiar with the territory; they are very familiar with the abandoned buildings," says. "They basically just drop in out of nowhere and then they disappear."

The tiny coastal community is concerned with what may be targeted next.

"There is some type of scare because they're afraid it's going to go to structures or houses where people do live," says Anaya. "They're afraid that the arsonists are going to escalate."

While neighboring counties have similar dilapidated and uninhabited structures, only Accomack County has been targeted by arsonists.


Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.