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Another suspicious fire set near Fayetteville schools

Posted December 21, 2010

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— Days after the Fayetteville Fire Department alerted people who live near a wooded area behind Douglas Byrd Middle School and Douglas Byrd High School about suspicious fires, another one was set Monday.

More than a dozen small fires have been set in the area since June. Monday's fire burned about a quarter of an acre.

The fires have caused no property damage or injuries.

"All fires start small, so to disregard or downplay the seriousness of any fire, no matter how small, when it's intentionally set, is never a good thing," said Capt. Ron Lewis of the Fayetteville Fire Department.

Jack Bussey, who lives nearby on Odom Drive, said he suspects "mischievous kids" are behind the fires. He said he didn't even suspect anything was wrong until recently, thinking the smoking smell in the air was only people burning fires in their fireplaces.

Now, Bussey said, he's worried.

"I'm really concerned because it can get out of hand real quickly with all the woods we got right here," he said.

The Douglas Byrd community is very aware of how damaging fires can be. Last year, the middle school gym was destroyed after a smoke bomb tossed by a student sparked a fire.

Charred pine cones near Douglas Byrd schools Another suspicious fire set near Fayetteville schools

Investigators are urging residents on Odom Drive, Coventry Road and Alleghany Road to watch out for anything suspicious and watch out for themselves.

Lewis said people should rake pine straw away from their homes. "(Keep) things out of the way so things don't burn quite as fast should something get out of control," he said.

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477 or call 911 if they observe suspicious individuals or behavior in the area.


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