|The Chop Shop (courtesy SSCFPD)|
Authorities in Stone County are on the hunt for a suspected serial arsonist.
Crews with the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District have been called out to three suspicious fires in Reeds Spring in the last week....and all of them have been intentionally set.
The first call was about 3 a.m. on December 31st to 99 Well Spring. When crews arrived, they found a smoldering dryer vent outside the Well Spring Apartments. The next call was to a grass fire near a barn on Keystone Road on New Year's day. On January 2nd, a sheriff's deputy noticed smoke coming from The Chop Shop Hair and Nail Studio, where three different points of origin were found. That deputy used a fire extinguisher to battle the blaze until SSCFPD crews arrived.
The arsonist also attempted to set a garage next to the salon on fire as well.
Gasoline and/or other accelerants are believed to have been used to spark all the blazes, according to Chief David Gyger.
"There's no actual signature at this point that we have found," said SSCFPD spokesman Eric Nielsen.
Gyger, who is also acting fire marshal, says he's afraid the fires might escalate and cause the death of a firefighter or a civilian before the culprit is caught. He is asking residents in the area to "keep an eye out, stay vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious activity to 9-1-1."
"We're gonna catch this person," said Nielsen. "Hopefully before there is any additional loss of property or anyone is injured or killed."
Anyone with information on the recent rash of fires in Reeds Spring is asked to call the state fire marshal's office at 800-39-ARSON (7766), the SSCFPD at 417-272-1510 or the Stone County Sheriff's Office at 417-357-6116.