Local News

Smithfield police investigate five arson cases

Posted October 11, 2010 4:45 p.m. EDT

— Smithfield police are investigating five suspected arson cases involving residential properties since Aug. 25.

The most recent fire was at 1321 E. Market St. early Monday, police said. A passing driver noticed the fire and called 911. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and no injuries were reported.

Police said the same building, which was being used as a boarding house, was also burned last Wednesday. Authorities said the fire burned itself out before crews arrived.

Police are also investigating two fires on Vermont Street and one on Rosewood Drive in south Smithfield. These properties were vacant houses listed for sale.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for any or all of these fires.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Smithfield Police at 919-934-2121 or confidentially on the department's tip line at 919-989-8835.

Since April, more than 20 fires have been set in barns and vacant houses in the southern part of Johnston County. More than a dozen other fires have been reported in the Smithfield and Clayton areas since last year.