3 fires in Region 8 in 3 days, all three are arson

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) – Investigators want to know what or who is behind a recent string of Region 8 fires.  In the town of Hoxie, three buildings have gone up in flames in the last week alone!  Over the past several weeks there have been multiple fires in Hoxie some arson, some not.  The police chief and fire marshal are investigating the fires and say so many fires in such a short amount of time is very suspicious.

"After the first one when we were paged out to another one.  Another vacant facility, another vacant house arson was exactly what ran through my mind," said Hoxie Fire Marshal Cassie Sapp.

Now Sapp said all three fires this week are being investigated as arson!

"One structure we found a tire propane Coleman bottle and a cardboard box that was soaked in some kind of accelerant," said Sapp.

All three buildings were empty with no power and no gas running to any of them.

The fire on Wednesday night actually burned so hot that this house next door sustained damage to the siding with the siding melting all the way down its side.  Neighbors who live in the house next door tell Region 8 News, with so many fires popping up all around they're afraid of what will happen next.

"It is imperative for the community to pay attention to their surroundings," said Jonesboro Police Department criminal analyst Heather Clements.

Jonesboro started battling arson fires back in May.  It is unclear if these fires are related to any of the other fires across Region 8.  Crime analyst Heather Clements said it never hurts to work together.

"Collaboration brings pieces of information together to form a big picture," said Clements.

"As soon as we get up we do a scene size up and look around and make sure we don't see anyone standing around that might be suspicious," said Sapp.

Sapp said they also look to see if any of the elements they find are similar to other fires.  Hoxie is a volunteer department that has been stretched very thin in the past week.

"We hope that we don't have another one," said Sapp.

Fires have been happening in Hoxie for the past several weeks.  Police Chief Glen Smith said they have some suspects but not for every fire.

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