$7,500 reward for info on arson at historic Hanover home

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

HANOVER COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - A $7,500 reward could be yours if you have information that leads to an arrest and conviction of an arson in Hanover County. The fire happened on Friday evening around 6:30 p.m. Now investigators have determined the fire to be the work of an arsonist.

The home, built in the 1800's, is still smoldering. It's smoke, owner Doug Godsey stands over, five days after the fire ripped through the historic home.
"It's been devastating the last couple of days," Godsey said.  
First, the call Friday evening about the fire. Then, the determination of arson by fire investigators.
"This building did not have any electricity. It didn't have any gas going on, and they've determined someone must have entered it and set fire to it maliciously," says Hanover Fire & EMS Battalion Chief William Jones.  
Chief Jones thinks it may be teens, or young adults, responsible for this mess.
"People have been transversing through here. They've been using the building as a private place to drink or smoke," adds the Chief.  
"I can't state how much the value of this home is. It can't be put on paper. The historic's of this home, what it meant to me and my family, we can't put a value on it," Godsey explained.
But one valuable piece of information could come from a reward. The Virginia Arson Advisory Program is offering $5,000, "and, I'm adding $2,500 to the conviction of whoever did this," says Doug.  
But it still may not bring closer to Doug and his family.
"Somebody knows something and all I can ask is please, come forward. It's not just about the reward, it's the right thing to do," Godsey said.  
If you have any information about this fire that left only the foundation standing, firefighters need to hear from you. Even the smallest piece of information can go a long way in this investigation. You can call them at (804) 365-4584.
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