Arson investigation underway in Village of Midlothian | News
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT)- A string of suspicious fires has authorities in Chesterfield searching for clues. Three fires in just two weeks in the Village of Midlothian in what may be the work of an arsonist.
Authorities believe the fires are connected.
The pile of rubble likely to be hauled away is what's left of an old antique store. Neighbors said it's been vacant for about ten years. It's now at the center of an arson investigation which has other business owners worried.
On May 20, thick white smoke could be seen for miles. Charred remnants are all that's left more than a week later.
The fire at the vacant antique store on Midlothian is one of three getting a closer look by the Chesterfield Fire Marshal's office.
All are in close proximity and happened under the cover of darkness.
Five days after the antique store went up, flames swept through the old Kids & Co. Child Care on Village Mill Drive.
An insurance adjuster toured the fire and water damaged building.
Right now, damage is estimated at $50,000.
Authorities say it could have been much worse, but the fire set off the sprinklers.
That fire hit close to home for Sam Blair.
His office window looks out to the vacant daycare.
"It makes people nervous around here," said Blair.
Nervous because he said his office building became the target of burglars a week earlier.
"It was totally shattered glass everywhere, blood on the carpet," said Blair.
Blair has worked in the office park for 20 years. He said he's never been this worried about crime.
"Now I have deep concerns over the safety of my employees as well as people around here," said Blair.
Evidence from each scene, including from a gutted abandoned home on Coalfield Road, is being analyzed. But authorities think they're all connected.
Blair hopes for a quick arrest. Until then, he's doing what police asked: watching out for anything out of the ordinary.
"They need help there's no rhyme or reason why they do that," said Blair.
So far, no one's been hurt in the fires.
That business owner said police will have extra patrols out in the Village of Midlothian area, especially late at night.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
Top Midlothian Stories
Most popular stories from nearby communities
- Grand jury finds officer justified in Chesterfield shooting death
- Vandals set fire to mailboxes at Bon Air apartment complex
- Police investigating an early morning shooting in South Richmond
- 12 INVESTIGATES: Sex offender coached Central Va. youth basketball
- Richmond Police searching for person of interest in sunglasses thefts