Accomack County Experiences Another Suspicious Fire | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.


How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker ... and collecting rejection slips.

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.

Will We See Veto Battles On Capitol Hill?

With President Obama promising to vetoes, what are the possibilities of a few veto overrides during the next two years? NPR's Arun Rath puts that questions to the National Journal's Fawn Johnson.

3 Voices, 1 Threat: Personal Stories Of Cyberhacking

In President Obama's State of the Union address, he gave fresh emphasis to a problem that has been in the headlines: cybersecurity. Here are three people who have experienced security breaches.

Leave a Comment

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