Man charged with arson in apartment fire

Published 8:45 pm Monday, October 26, 2009

A 22-year-old Suffolk man has been charged with setting a fire on Saturday that displaced 16 people, including 13 children, from an apartment on Stacey Drive, police announced Monday night.

Harvey Lee Lewis IV, of the 300 block of York Street, has been charged with one count of arson for a fire that started in a shed behind 13 Stacey Drive just after noon on Saturday, according to Suffolk spokesperson Debbie George.

The blaze soon spread to the walls and attic of that apartment, and two other apartments sustained smoke and water damage.

George stated in a press release on Monday that Lewis had been involved in a domestic disturbance at one of the apartments earlier Saturday morning.

Travas Vaughan and five children lived in the burned-out apartment, but they were at her sons’ football game when she got a call from someone telling her that her apartment was on fire.

There were no injuries in the fire.

“I’ve been here for 10 years,” she said on Saturday. “This was my first apartment. Now, I’ve got to go somewhere and start over.”

A similar fire Friday evening that started in a shed in the 1200 block of Nansemond Parkway and spread to an apartment building in the 100 block of Beamon’s Mill Trail displaced two people. That fire remains under investigation by the city’s fire marshal, George said, adding that she didn’t see a reason to believe the two fires were somehow connected.