Local News

Clayton house fire deemed arson

Posted September 13, 2010

— Authorities say a fire that damaged a vacant home in Clayton's Glen Laurel subdivision early Monday was set.

Two other homes in the same neighborhood caught fire in May under suspicious circumstances.

The fire started sometime before 3:30 a.m. Monday at a house under construction at 46 Middlecrest Way, near Skygrove Drive. There were no reports of injuries, but a neighbor's home was also damaged.

Since October, firefighters have responded to six similar fires in Clayton, including two in the Glen Laurel area. In many of the cases, the structures were under construction at the time.

In May, police charged a 14-year-old in connection with a fire that destroyed the Building Blocks Childcare, 55 Hawkesburg Drive. The day care was under construction at the time of the April 5 blaze. Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen said Monday that the teen's case had been settled through arbitration but would not comment further.

Investigators said it's too early to know if Monday's fire could be connected to the other arson cases, but it was similar to the other fires.

Police K-9 units were at the scene Monday, and the State Bureau of Investigation was called to help investigate.

"I think all of the fires we've had are within roughly a mile and some as close as a few hundred yards," Allen said. "It certainly lends itself for close examination."

Neighbor Karl Humberson said Monday’s fire has put the close-knit neighborhood on guard.

“We all know each other. We're all watching out, watching for anything suspicious,” he said.

Allen asked that anyone who might have seen anyone acting suspiciously or any suspicious vehicles in the area between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. call the Clayton Police Department at 919-553-4611 or Clayton Crime Stoppers at 919-359-8479.

Police are offering in excess of a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and convictions in the arson cases involving the properties under construction

Arson fires reported in Clayton as of Sept. 13, 2010:

View Clayton arson fires in a larger map


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ml0829 Sep 13, 2010

    I've saw a construction project in Clayton that had video surveillance during construction. The LionsGate retirement home.

  • Justin T. Sep 13, 2010

    They really need to just turn all the evidence over to GOLO and let us solve this for them ;-/"

    Judge, jury, and execution... from mom's basement. Shhh, don't type too loud or she make intervene and that my friends is grounds for a mistrial.

  • seankelly15 Sep 13, 2010

    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT – “Probably a contractor about to go under.” You are saying ‘probably, correct (not possibly/). So, you in your wisdom have decided that among numerous ‘possible’ scenarios, that the builder going under has a higher probability of truth compared to any other possibility? But, you suggestion is just a guess and thus does not have a higher probability than any other arson explanation. Unless of course, you have direct knowledge of what happened which would, of course, change the probability.

  • carla349 Sep 13, 2010

    I wonder if these are related to the Apex fires? It wouldn't surprise me. Maybe someone that works in Apex/lives in Clayton or the other way around. Or a kid with parents in each area?

    They really need to just turn all the evidence over to GOLO and let us solve this for them ;-/

  • runinlat Sep 13, 2010

    I totally agree with jimmyjames! I have been wondering the same thing.

  • joeBob Sep 13, 2010

    How many houses have to burn before someone invests in some electronic surveillance?

  • gsmusty Sep 13, 2010

    I know who the builder is and the builder is now where near in financial trouble. They are quite sound. The houses that have been burned in Glen Laurel have been built by 3 different builders. 2 of them have been building in Glen Laurel for years.

  • copforlife Sep 13, 2010

    ...........as opposed to "Just suspicious"?

  • map1agmachining Sep 13, 2010

    'very suspicious' might have to bring out the magic 8 ball for this one.

  • superman Sep 13, 2010

    How would you know the financial condition of the builder? They usually take out a construction loan and they have to pay on the loan until the house is sold. If it is not the builder setting the fires, they why doesnt he invest a couple hundred dollars and put up some cameras with motion detectors and see who is doing it? Cheaper to spend the money for the cams than to lose the house? Penny wise and dollar foolish.