Downtown fire under suspicion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Is there an arsonist running loose in downtown Suffolk?

Local fire investigators aren’t sure, but a recent string of blazes has presented the question.

In early May, a pile of mulch was set on fire on Saratoga Street. On May 14, the dumpster behind the Suffolk News-Herald office was set ablaze. The next day, someone burned several bags of clothes on Saratoga.

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Then, on Tuesday morning, someone set fire to a trash pile behind165 N. Main Street. Just before 8 a.m., firefighters arrived at the scene to find the trash and a traffic cone burning. By the time the fire was out, an air conditioning unit, its wiring and a telephone cable fastened to the wall were damaged. The monetary amount of damage was not reported at press time.

Later Tuesday, Capt. James Judkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Fire Department, referenced the possibility that the fires might be linked.

&uot;The investigation, sooner or later, is going to reveal all that, and they’re working on it right now,&uot; Judkins said. &uot;At this time, we don’t know if there is a link or not, but the investigation will eventually prove or disprove that.

&uot;It’s kind of agreeable, it’s kind of vague, but that’s all the information we have. For us to use the ‘A’ word, we’d have to see somebody leaving the scene with a match and a gas can, and we haven’t seen that yet.&uot;