Nothing but tangled metal and ash remains after a storage shed was burned to the ground at a operational chicken farm in Temperanceville. (Photo: WBOC)
TEMPERANCEVILLE, Va.- Two more arsons this weekend bring the total number of confirmed arson fires to 46 in Accomack County. One happened Saturday night at an old storage barn in Temperanceville. The other occurred Sunday night, at an abandoned commercial building in Nelsonia. It appears whoever is setting these fires may be changing course.
The previous arson fires have followed a similar pattern, set at abandoned or unused structures. But in Temperanceville, nothing but tangled metal and ash remains after a storage shed was burned to the ground at a completely operational chicken farm. Inside, owner Bobby Chesser says at least $25,000 dollars worth of machinery, lumber and equipment was reduced to rubble.
"It was quite a bit of valuable stuff I had in there."
The farm was passed along to him by his father, who built the barn Chesser used for storage up until Saturday night.
"I looked down towards the chicken houses and saw the lights blinking, so I just hopped in the pickup, went there and in 15 minutes it was gone, flat," he explained.
Chesser said he knew about the serial arson cases throughout the county, but never expected it would hit so close to home.
"You can't think about it, but you think it'll be on somebody else. You just don't think it'll be in your property."
Just a few miles up the road, an old commercial building became the next target, and arson fire number 46. It is still standing, with no visible damage, because crews were able to get to the scene and put it out quickly.
Rev. Ronald Knight lives nearby.
"It's a shame that person has to do that, and it's a shame that it's this close to my house but that's ok, because he or she will get caught."
Virginia State Police say the investigation into the arson fires is ongoing. A $5,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest.
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