Clayton house fire deemed arson
Posted September 13, 2010 5:44 a.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2010 6:21 p.m. EDT
Clayton, N.C. — 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: