Over 40 fires started in suspected Irmo arson case - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Over 40 fires started in suspected Irmo arson case

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IRMO, SC (WIS) -

Authorities are looking for a suspected arsonist wanted for starting a string of small fires in a wooded area in Irmo.

Irmo Fire Marshal Jeff Allen said between 40 and 45 small fires were started running along a trail in the woods behind Shaw Industries on St. Andrews Road Sunday.

"There's someone I think walking along setting separate fires," Allen said. "We've got enough people back in there that they are doing a heck of a job jumping on these things."

Fire crews were able to quickly put out the fires by 9:35 p.m. on Sunday, Allen said.

Allen said the fires were set intentionally and authorities are currently looking for those responsible.

"This type of thing needs to be stopped," Allen said.

The fires have given members of the community considerable reason to be concerned.

"I got very emotional," Kathleen Webb said, "because that wooded area is right behind my house."

Irmo Fire, the Lexington County Fire Department and the Columbia Fire Department assisted in putting out the fires. The Lexington County Sheriff's Department and SLED are also aiding the Irmo Fire District in the investigation.

It's an investigation that Allen hopes to close soon.

"It drains our resources," he said. "All of our guys were out there from 5:30 to 9:30 in 100-degree heat with 50 pounds of equipment."

Although a fire in the woods may sound harmless enough and there wasn't much damaged, Allen said these arsons could be gateway crimes to others.

Anyone with information about who may have started the fires is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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