An empty property was set on fire on Beacon Road in Melfa, making it the 18th incident since Nov. 13. (Photo: WBOC)
ACCOMAC, Va.- Some people in Accomack County were on edge Friday.
Virginia State Police said that someone has been setting fire to abandoned properties all over the county since last week.
The latest incidents happened on Thursday. Police said fire crews responded to an abandoned barn house on fire in Parksley at around 1:30 a.m. Then another empty property was set on fire on Beacon Road in Melfa, making it the 18th incident since Nov. 13.
Some people told WBOC that their communities are too small to have something like this happen.
Eli Biggers stood in surprise looking at the debris of a home on Hollies Church Road that police said was the work of an arsonist.
"It is a concern because people who live in this community don't want to see this happen," Biggers said. "People could get hurt or a fire like this could spread to other things. It's a danger."
Jason Stern lives near by the house that burnt down on Beacon Road.
Stern said that everyone has been talking about the incidents, which not only disturb his peace of mind but also the community that he considers as normally quiet.
"I live in an older home and I make sure I have my lights on so that he doesn't mistake my house for anything else," Stern said. "But I hope he doesn't make a jump to something more dangerous. That is where the concern of the community lies right now."
Linda Moist and her granddaughter, Jennifer Johnson, said they were worried that the arsonist could strike again.
"It's very scary," Moist said. "You don't know who is doing it, you don't know what they are going to do next. I mean you can't think they will stick to abandoned homes."
"It's crazy that they are setting fires to abandoned houses and not thinking like somebody might be living there or it might be somebody's home," Johnson said.
Police said no one has been hurt in any of these fires. They said all of the fires happened during overnight hours.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
To report a tip, call: 1-800-582-8350 or (757) 424-6820; or call the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at (757) 787-1131.
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