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Home  |  News  |  Another arson fire prompts $25,000 reward in Charleston

Another arson fire prompts $25,000 reward in Charleston

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

CHARLESTON, SC - There was yet another arson fire in Charleston on Thursday - the fifth suspicious fire in a month and the 57th in eight years - as authorities offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

"We are determined to find the person or people responsible for this and other suspicious fires and we need the community's help," Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said in announcing a hotline for tips.

A team of local, state and federal investigators has been working on the cases that involve fires in neighborhoods of homes with apartments largely rented by college students.

College of Charleston senior Allison Hammons was awakened Thursday morning by flames as her house on Cannon Street was on fire. Hammons returned to collect the few remaining personal items left after the blaze.

The Thursday fire was again set on a porch. It caused only minor damage.

Riley said a smoke alarm went off on the second floor and neighbors were able to alert those living on the first floor of the house.

Earlier this month, a fire damaged the porch of a home while a blaze approximately four blocks away destroyed yet another home.

Police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood and firefighters have gone door to door with cards that remind people to be wary, report suspicious activity and to make sure they have smoke alarms.

Authorities said they have not yet developed a profile of who may be setting the fires and said it has not been determined if they might be targeting college students.

Police Chief Greg Mullen said police are closely patrolling the area.

"We're going to be very active in this neighborhood. People should expect to be encountered by officers.

"They should expect officers coming up to them and ask them what they are doing," he said.

The S.C. Insurance News Service is offering a $5,000 reward and the city added an additional $20,000, according to the mayor.

Riley said people with information should call 1-800-92-ARSON.

To those responsible, he warned "we're going to get you and you will receive the most severe punishment."

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 554-1111, toll free at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or online at Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPCSL". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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