Officials still looking into firesPublished 6:03am Wednesday, January 23, 2013
After a lengthy investigation, fire and police officials are still searching for those involved in multiple house fires this past summer that appear to have been set.
Russellville Police Chief Christ Hargett and Fire Chief Joe Mansell said they are seeking the community’s help in finding the person or persons responsible for three separate cases of arson.
“All three of these fires took place within a week’s time and, after a thorough investigation by the city police and fire departments and the state fire marshal’s office, it appears as if all three fires were intentionally set,” Hargett said.
Mansell said the first fire took place on July 27, 2012, at 6 a.m. at 1645 East Lawrence St. The second fire was the very next night at a home located at 1718 North Jackson Ave. The final fire took place on Aug. 2, 2012, at 6 p.m. at 1222 College Ave.
“We take every fire seriously and each one is a dangerous situation for our firefighters,” Mansell said.
“We willingly put our lives on the line to protect those in our community from situations where a fire is involved, but when our men are putting their lives on the line for a fire that was intentionally set, we want to do everything we can to make sure the person responsible for that needless crime is caught and held responsible for their actions. This isn’t something we take lightly.”
Hargett said they have a few leads but they are still looking for more information.
He added that the city would be offering a reward of up to $500 for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in these cases.
He said additional reward money could be offered through the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers for anyone who provided information to their organization that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information about these fires is asked to call the Russellville Police Department at 256-332-2230, the Russellville Fire Marshal’s Office at 256-332-8765, or the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers at 256-386-8685.