As if fighting four back to back fires early Thursday morning wasn’t enough for local firefighters, another fire erupted Thursday evening in a home on East Elm Street. All five fires are being investigated as arson.
The latest blaze broke out just before 9 p.m. at 307 E. Elm St. Thursday. The cause of the fire is not known, but it is being investigated as arson, according to Mount Airy Fire Chief Zane Poindexter.
He said the blaze was contained to one room and its contents. No one was home when the fire broke out and no one was injured extinguishing the blaze. The occupant of the home is Glen Boyles.
Property damage was estimated at $5,000 and the contents were valued at $1,000.
Suspects are being sought in the four fires that were started in businesses along South Street early Thursday.
The first call firefighters received came in shortly before 1 a.m. at Bray’s Recapping on North South Street. While battling a tire fire inside a box truck behind the business, firefighters noticed water running from under a door at a warehouse across the street. According to Poindexter, another blaze was set in that building, but the sprinklers helped extinguish the flames.
A short time later at 1:46 a.m., a detective with the Mount Airy Police Department who was on his way to investigate the first fires, spotted flames coming from a building at the corner of Hadley and South South streets. By the time fire crews arrived at the building, which housed the Rabbit Hole Thrift shop, it was fully engulfed, Poindexter said.
A few hours later at 5:28 a.m., yet another fire was reported in an outbuilding behind Marshall’s Furniture store at 461 N. South St.
Poindexter said the fire department will continue to be proactive in the community in the prevention of fires.
Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson said the four South Street fires are not related to the Elm Street fire.
“We are working with the fire department and the SBI Arson Unit. We are always extra vigil, but we will be putting emphasis on these types of crimes. We have extra units watching possible targets,” said Watson.
The Mount Airy Rescue Squad and Surry County Emergency Medical Services also responded to the call.
If anyone has any information that will help lead to an arrest, Watson said to contact Sgt. Brad Quesinberry or Detective Brandon Davis at the Mount Airy Police Department at 786-3535, or call Crime Stoppers at 786-4000.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.