Accomack County Arsons Continue to Frustrate Citizens and Law Enforcement Alike

Arson fire on Hopeton Road in Accomack / image

The series of Accomack County arson fires, which have spanned three months and burned nearly 50 structures, are now starting to wear thin on the patience of the county’s residents.  Furthermore, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are still trying to determine who the culprit(s) responsible for the damage is.

From The Virginian Pilot (

[T]he 32nd fire in a string that now includes 48 confirmed arsons in Accomack County since Nov. 12 – including six so far this month – according to Virginia State Police. Two additional fires and an attempted arson at a church were being investigated this week, although state police have not said whether those incidents were believed to be connected.

It continues:

In November, the county saw 22 arsons, 12 in the first week. After a Christmas Eve arson in Nelsonia, none occurred for almost a month.

The next confirmed arson happened Jan. 20 in Nelsonia. Five arsons were recorded in January, and at least six have taken place so far this month.

The county relies on 33 paid full-time fire and paramedic personnel and 600 volunteers, many of whom work during the day, according to the county’s Department of Public Safety. A fire may require 20 firefighters to work a scene for hours, often in the middle of the night.

State Police are working with the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, the state’s Department of Fire Programs and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Authorities have increased patrols and surveillance in the county.

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