Pink toilets burned after Taste event

Published 8:59 pm Monday, September 12, 2016

Three portable toilets were destroyed in a downtown Suffolk fire early Sunday morning, and the owner of the toilets is offering a reward for information about the blaze.

According to a city press release, a Suffolk police officer was on patrol in the downtown area about 1:39 a.m. when a citizen in a vehicle stopped to inform him of the fire in the 100 block of North Main Street.

Two of the units were fully engulfed in flames, with a third unit also damaged, according to the press release. The fire also damaged two windows at SunTrust Bank, a structural column, a bench and the sidewalk.

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Tavis Meredith, director of business development for Atlantic Heating and Cooling Services Inc., owner of Atlantic Potties, said all three portable toilets were destroyed.

“Two were completely melted,” he said. “They’re nothing more than a pile of plastic. Another one is not usable anymore.”

Meredith said the toilets, which are pink on the outside, support Susan G. Komen, a foundation that helps fight breast cancer.

“We donate a portion of every potty rental to them,” said Meredith, who said he learned of the fire in a text message just after 3 a.m. on Sunday.

The portable toilets were downtown for the Taste of Suffolk street festival, which attracted thousands to the downtown area on Saturday.

“We just want to catch the person or persons who did it and hold them responsible,” said Meredith, who said people can call him at 592-8217 or call the Suffolk Police Department.

The city press release stated that the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. The Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene and is handling the ongoing investigation.

The Atlantic Heating and Cooling Services reward is $2,500.

Anyone who has information is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or text the keyword SPDVATIP and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters never have to give their names or appear in court and may be eligible for a Crime Line reward of up to $1,000.