Rash of Fires in Ark. County Concerns Officials; Arson Suspected

July 7, 2006

A dozen fires in Benton County in less than a week has investigators wondering if all were accidents and, if not, who set them.

Investigators are not yet willing to conclude definitely that arson was involved, according to Deputy Doug Gay, public information officer for the Benton County sheriff’s office. But he said the rash of fires is suspicious.

Three fires were reported June 28, seven on July 3 and two on July 4.

Seven of the fires involved trailers or other structures while six were grass fires, one of which spread to a nearby trailer.

“We’re pretty sure 10 of them are related,” said Richard Feast, an investigator with the sheriff’s office.

Gay said evidence from the fires was sent to the State Crime Lab.

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