Inspectors with the Mount Airy Fire Department are working closely with detectives from the city’s police department in searching for suspects in the arson of a Hamburg Street home.
After hours of searching through the charred remains of the home, Chief Zane Poindexter said investigators had determined that the Thursday morning fire that destroyed the $42,000 home was deliberately set.
Noting that the home, located at 161 Hamburg Street, did not have power, Poindexter said they had ruled out accidental sources.
A portion of Hamburg Street near Renfro Street in Mount Airy was closed for several hours Thursday morning as the department battled the fire.
According to Poindexter, firefighters received a call alerting them to the blaze at 4:46 a.m., and arrived on the scene minutes later.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered the blaze was well under way in the single-story brick structure.
“There was fire coming through the roof upon our arrival,” he said at the scene.
The home was unoccupied when firefighters arrived, Poindexter said.
“The home was being lived in from time to time, but the occupant was not home at the time,” the chief said. “We spent quite a bit of time trying to find out whether anyone was inside.”
Poindexter said the investigation will not be complete for some time.
“We’re still conducting an investigation and it will be ongoing for a while, but we’re treating it as an arson,” he said.
He noted that the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) will be assisting in the investigation.
“We’ve taken samples that we will be sending off to the SBI for analysis to determine whether there were any ignitable chemicals,” Poindexter said.
The Mount Airy Fire Department responded to the blaze with two engines, a ladder truck, a command vehicle and 21 firefighters, according to Poindexter.
Members of the Bannertown and Four Way fire departments were on standby as the Mount Airy department battled the blaze.
The home is owned by Junior Key.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org