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More suspicious fires reported in Johnston County

Posted September 20, 2010

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— The Johnston County Sheriff's Office is investigating two suspicious fires which broke out early Monday morning in Johnston County.

Just after 1:30 a.m., crews were called to a fire at 9360 Stricklands Crossroads Road in Benson. A shed had caught fire. Within 10 minutes, crews were called to a fire about 8 miles away at a vacant house in the 1200 block of Stewart Road in Four Oaks.

No injuries were reported in either fire.

The house on Stewart Road is owned by Steve Bryant, who owns the Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball team.

"The dwelling deserved a better demise than this. It had a lot of history," Bryant said.

The blazes make 29 suspicious fires in Johnston County since April.

“It is a little disconcerting to know that there is a group out there that is getting away with all this,” Bryant said.

Among those are a series of fires at barns and abandoned houses since February. Authorities believe those fires, around Four Oaks and Bentonville in southwestern parts of the county, are related. They, however, do not believe the fires, including the ones on Monday morning, are linked to a series of arson fires in the Clayton area.

four oaks fire Two suspicious fires reported in Johnston County

Since Oct. 31, 2009, nine houses that are abandoned or under construction have been set on fire in Clayton.

The most recent blaze in the area was reported Saturday night at 738 Strickland Road, near Swift Creek Road. The house had been abandoned for decades and had no power.

Saturday's fire was three miles from the Glen Laurel subdivision, where arson is suspected in fires at three houses under construction.

Clayton police and the State Bureau of Investigation have been investigating possible links between the fires. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to arrests and convictions in the cases.

Anyone with information about the fires should call Clayton police at 919-553-4611 or Clayton Crime Stoppers at 919-359-8479.

Locations of suspicious fires in Johnston County, as of Sept. 20, 2010

Locations of arson fires in Clayton, as of Sept. 19, 2010

View Clayton arson fires in a larger map


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  • boatmonkey82 Sep 21, 2010

    sounds like that area has a lil pyro running around

  • mgratk Sep 20, 2010

    "I would NEVER live in a building under construction or an unoccupied house" --Centurion
    Yeah, kinda impossible to live in an unoccupied house, by definition.

  • tobywilliamson58 Sep 20, 2010

    Probably started from lightning??

  • Glock23 Sep 20, 2010

    What about the Glen Laurel suspicious fires? How come they are not mapped?

  • johnstonredneck Sep 20, 2010

    Maybe the Sheriff's department needs to be looking at their own. Who else would be out the times of night that these fires are occurring? Either that or someone that was kicked off or turned down by the fire dept.

  • Go Figure Sep 20, 2010

    they aren't that smart.....they will get caught, only a matter of time.

  • Centurian Sep 20, 2010

    Looking at what seems to be burning up, I would NEVER live in a building under construction or an unoccupied house. It pays to be smart, huh?

  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    "They're only picking buildings which are vacant at the time. Right? So an occupied home would probably be off limits for them."

    Lord, I hope I didn't give them any ideas, cause you KNOW they are reading these news reports, and probably the blogs too.

    God bless.


  • Go Figure Sep 20, 2010

    Amen, Spirit Warrior! FBI or SBI.

  • GiGi 2 Sep 20, 2010

    Spirit Woman - My sentiments are the same! Yes, I too feel that the person lives around the Smithfield area, BUT (and that is a BIG BUT, Princeton seems to be the only Johnston County town/area that has not been on fire. I believe that perhaps a Princeton resident could be the real fire bug...