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State Officials Ask For Help Finding Arsonists

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Updated: 1/06/2012 11:35 pm
     "We're talking some major fires, major incidents," says State Fire Marshal Bill Swope.

     A rash of arsons across the state is putting firefighters on edge.

     "These guys behind me put their lives on the line each and every day and that's a cause of concern for me," explains Swope.

     Swope says more than a dozen fires have been intentionally set in Lincoln, Pulaski, Jessamine, Madison and Fayette Counties in just the past month and a half.
    
     We don't see it as concentrated as what we see now in these particular pockets.  There are arson calls that come in everyday practically.  But, very seldom do we see 3 or 4 in the same community in such a short time period," comments Swope.

     He says there have been at least seven arsons in that time period here in Lexington, like this one on December 28th at the corner of Julia Way and 5th Street.

     "It's very upsetting. Obviously, ya know, it's just too bad something like this has to happen. It's just very disappointing," explains homeowner Dan Goedde.

     And its not just people's homes that are being set on fire.  Four cars and two dumpsters went up in flames in the middle of December near Alexandria Drive and Versailles Road.

     "I would say to them they need to stop cause...why you setting these cars on fire? You could set yourself on fire, so you need to stop...It really needs to stop," says Joyce Demus.

     Swope says it's these arsons that are especially disturbing.

     "The fires that are occuring here in Lexington; they're occuring in residential areas, populated areas, so we have a real concern with that," explains Swope.

     He says so far no one has been seriously injured but these arsons have caused some major damage.

     "There were a couple fires down in southeastern Kentucky,  The Lincoln County-Pulaski area that caused damage well in excess of a million and a half dollars," comments Swope.

    And he says the person or persons responsible for setting these fires need to be caught before something tragic happens...that's why he's pleading for the public's help.
 
     "We don't know what the motivation is and that is a concern for us," explains Swope.

     You could receive up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any of these arsonists.  If you have information on any of these arsons, call the State Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.
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