PARKSLEY, Va.- The number continues to grow. Virginia State Police said there have now been 38 arsons set in Accomack County since Nov. 12, with the most recent taking place Sunday night.
According to police, Sunday's arson happened at an abandoned structure in the 18000 block of Mappsburg Road in Painter. Police said the structure was an equipment garage that contained only a boat. No injuries were reported.
This latest fire comes on the heels of another set Saturday night, in a small, three-sided structure on a piece of farm land just off Parksley Road in Parksley.
Local neighbors like Allena Annis live just a few hundred yards away from the latest arson, and are frightened that the crimes are happening so close to home.
"It's very scary," Annis said. "Even though on the Eastern Shore everybody is really close and it is around all of our families, it is scary knowing that I have a child in the house and it was right here in the backyard."
The same is true for Otho Mears, who lives just down the road from Annis. He has numerous structures on his property and can only hope one of them does not become the next target.
"It's in your thoughts many many times a day," shared Mears. "It's in your thoughts certainly in the evening hours."
The number of arson fires in Parksley alone has reached nine out of the 38. Police are still offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest. And an arrest is something local residents are confident will happen soon.
"I think that it's inevitable. A lot quicker the better, naturally. But sure, they've got to find him, after all," said Mears.
"You've seen the increase of them riding the roads at night, especially in and out of town. So we see them all of the time and there's a lot more on duty," added Annis.
So far, all of the structure fires have occurred in places that were unoccupied or abandoned but the fear remains that sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt.
Thursday, June 20 2013 8:37 AM EDT2013-06-20 12:37:17 GMT
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