Serial arsonist torches half a dozen Kershaw Co. buildings

The remains of last week's barn fire on Yarborough Road in Cassatt
The remains of last week's barn fire on Yarborough Road in Cassatt
Arson at an abandoned home on Mt. Zion Road in Cassatt
Arson at an abandoned home on Mt. Zion Road in Cassatt

By Jody Barr - bio | email

CASSATT, SC (WIS) - Fire investigators in Kershaw County are trying to track down the person who torched six abandoned buildings since March. Three of those fires have happened in just the past few weeks.

"Last one we had would have been on December 14," said Kershaw County Fire Marshal Gene Faulkenberry. "That would have been Yarborough at Cassatt Road area."

Faulkenberry has tried to crack the case since April, investigating six arsons this year and five additional woods fires. "Definitely the work of arson," said Faulkenberry. "Middle of the woods, no roads."

The latest arson was a week ago in Cassatt. Investigators say someone use an accelerant to burn what once was an old barn to the ground. Two weeks before that, investigators say their arsonist poured something flammable in an abandoned house and lit it up.
     
"The person that's starting these fires doesn't realize that in today's world and economy, a lot of homeless people might be staying in these abandoned buildings and a lot worse things can happen if he doesn't stop," said Faulkenberry.

Between march and April, investigators say an arsonist hit three abandoned homes in the northern end of the county. "We had three up in the Buffalo area that were suspicious," said Faulkenberry.

One home off mount Pisgah road burned down after investigators say someone against poured fuel inside, and set the fire. "A person usually does this just for the excitement, the adrenaline of seeing all the fire trucks and everybody come out," said Faulkenberry. "But they don't realize if somebody, a homeless person is in this house, they could be facing 15-20 years in prison.")

A nine month-long investigation has put investigators closer to a suspect. "This time we think it might be one person, but we think there's several that know about it," said Faulkenberry.

Call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC if you have any information that can help investigators.

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