Suspicious fire in Hot Springs – authorities ask AMR listeners for leads

A suspicious fire was reported in Bath County Friday night, and investigators are looking for help from AMR listeners. An abandoned structure at 77 Thomastown Rd. in Hot Springs was destroyed in the fire, and authorities have reason to believe the cause may have been arson.

Special Agent Allen Brown, with the Virginia State Police, said the Hot Springs Fire Department responded to the call and there were no injuries reported. Brown said the building was an unoccupied, two-story residence.

“The time of the call was 10:44 p.m.,” says Brown. “The fire department arrived at 10:56 p.m. By the time they got there, it had pretty much burned to the ground. It was an old abandoned house. The guy that owns it, he owns the property; it’s one of these structures that the county had asked him to either demolish or repair.”

Brown said there is reason to believe the fire may have been set intentionally.

“There are a couple of things,” says Brown. “There wasn’t really any other reasonable explanation as to why this fire started. The house didn’t have any electrical service hooked to it. There was a witness who told the sheriff’s office that they saw a car leaving the area around the same time the fire was reported, and it’s not the first abandoned structure in that area that’s been burned. We had a couple of them burn last year.”

Despite the other fires in the area, authorities have no reason to suspect a serial arson case. Brown said an arrest was made last year involving two of the fires.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Bath County Sheriff’s office at 540 839 2375.

“Any little bit helps,” Brown says.

Story By

Angelo Jiordano

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