Four suspicious fires under investigation in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fire investigators believes four fires this week at vacant homes in Charleston all arson related.

It’s still not clear if the four were set by the same person, but Charleston Fire Department Fire Marshal Richard Simms said all are suspicious.

“The two on 6th and 7th Avenue came in at basically the same time one at 2:30 and one at 2:37, then another came in three hours later right around 5:00 that same day. Then we had one the next day around 3:00 in the morning. Literally you could walk through a back yard of one and be in the back yard of another,” he explained.

Simms and his investigation team have canvassed the west side of Charleston in hopes of finding video surveillance footage or eye witnesses who may be able to yield some clue as to who set the fires. So far, the search hasn’t been very productive.

“There’s cameras out there, but everybody’s cameras are motion activated instead of continuously rolling, so that kind of hurts us. If anybody out there has any information, we’d love to have it,” he said.

Three of the fires were in abandoned homes. The fourth house which caught fire was in the process of being remodeled. They were located on 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue, Beech Avenue, and a Thursday morning fire on Sixth Street.

“They all started outside of the house. One started on a front porch, one started in a crawl space, and one started on a back porch. The one that happened on Beech Avenue we don’t have a clue because it engulfed the whole house,” Simms said.

Investigators have alerted the neighborhood residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.