Hanover fire investigators believe blaze to be arson

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Hanover County fire investigators need your help solving an arson. Over the weekend, a home was burned to the ground on Kimbrough Lane. That's in the Montpelier area of the county--west of Ashland.

In addition to forensic evidence, firefighters say the location of this home helps them know this was arson.

"It's back 3/4 mile off the road, a dead end road, and it's not a place that a normal arsonist would come to pick out a fire cause there's no way to get out but one way," said Hanover County Fire & EMS Chief William Jones.

Around 4:15 Sunday morning on March 28 a home on Kimbrough Lane burned to the ground. The homeowner travels for work--and wasn't there. A witness saw a car heading down the road about an hour and a half before the blaze started.

"It's very brazen to do something like this especially in a rural area where people pay attention to who's coming down their roads," said Jones.

Now, fire officials are hoping you can help.

"We need help from viewers. If anyone saw a car leaving this area, or anyone knows anything about it--this was a man's home, it was a nice home, and you can imagine his grief when he comes home and finds nothing but a burned out shell," he said.

Fire investigators were eager to get this case out the media. That's because they've had success before with cracking arson cases that way.

"It's definitely through ya'll, the media and getting the word out there and you all help us like that, we could put a sign on this tree and no one would see it in this secluded area, but if we get it on the news then 200,000 to 300,000 people will see it," Jones said.

That was the case with an arson investigation at a home on Shady Grove Road. The home was burned down in February of last year. A tip led to an arrest and conviction--and a reward for the person who helped. That same thing could happen here...and remember it's often a tiny detail that will help.

"You look at Americas Most Wanted and they solve their crimes by just one little thing that somebody remembers 5 years later, and that's what we look for," he said.

Hanover County is working one other open arson at a home. It happened at a historic house on Crowne Hill Road back in November. So if you have any information, you can call the Hanover fire hotline. That number is 365-6195.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.