Reward offered in arson

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Suffolk property owner is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the arson of his rental property.

LeOtis Williams says he will give $500 to the person who can shed some light on the arson, which caused a total loss to the house at 312 N. Fifth St.

“There’s been several fires in the city of Suffolk, so I’m really concerned,” Williams said, referring to the suspected arson at his house and others on First Avenue. “My structure wasn’t occupied at the time, but what if they set fire to a house someone’s living in?”

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The $500 reward will be separate from and in addition to any reward given from the Crime Line.

Authorities are investigating six suspicious fires that occurred during November. One vacant house in the 600 block of First Avenue was set ablaze three times between Nov. 6 and Nov. 19.

In the Nov. 19 incident, firefighters found smoke coming from debris under the house, city spokeswoman Debbie George said at the time. Only eight hours later, another fire happened at another house on the same street.

On Nov. 21, firefighters responded to Williams’ rental property just after midnight for a report of smoke coming from the house. They arrived to find the house heavily engulfed in flames. They had responded to a fire at the same house a week earlier.

“I just want them brought to justice,” Williams said. “I’m hoping if the public knows something, come forward and let the authorities know so we can bring those people to justice.”

To give information on the fires, call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Callers to Crime Line never have to give their names or appear in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000, in addition to Williams’ reward.