By Frank Lewis
State fire officials are hoping if you saw something that you will say something. The Division of State Fire Marshal is seeking information from the public regarding a fire they say was intentionally set early Sunday, June 8. Investigators have evidence that points to arson at 1809 Jackson St., in Portsmouth.
Investigators said at approximately 1:31 a.m. a Chevrolet Venture Van was set on fire next to a home. The investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Portsmouth Police Department and the Portsmouth Fire Department. A family of six was inside the home at the time, but got out safely thanks to a passerby who alerted the occupants inside. The Portsmouth Fire Department responded to the scene.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for the fire. Investigators believe there could be video of the incident, and ask any individuals in possession of those recordings to contact them.
“Information from the public is crucial to solving these kinds of cases,” State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers said. “Investigators want to hear from anyone who saw something out of the ordinary at or around the time of the fire or who may have heard someone speaking about the fire with an unusual level of interest or knowledge.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Fire & Explosion Investigation Bureau at 1-800-589-2728.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.