Stewart Co. fires likely caused by serial arsonist - WSMV Channel 4

Stewart Co. fires likely caused by serial arsonist

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Investigators are on the hunt for a serial arsonist, who they said got away with burning three properties to the ground in just one hour's time.

Three barns, one full of hay and the others full of tobacco, caught fire in the middle of the night in Stewart County, and it was not a coincidence.

"I do not think it was random, I believe. I don't think they targeted any specific person. I think it was just a night of having a good time," said Clint Mathis, with Stewart County Emergency Management.

For the families, it was anything but fun, and they aren't just out the cost of the crops lost.

"About $15,000 worth of hay," said property owner Bobby Darnell.

The fires also took an emotional toll.

"My father built this by his own hands, and, you know, it's hard. I've lost him and now that. It does make you angry," said property owner Wanda Darnell.

The fires spread Stewart County's volunteer fire department so thin they had to call for backup.

"Had another call come in, in another part of the county, that would have certainly caused a problem for us," Mathis said.

Now, they are focused on catching the barn burner before he or she strikes again.

"It cost a lot of money and could have cost a lot of people to get hurt the fire. People had to come out here and stay all night, the deputy, sheriffs and things like that," Bobby Darnell said.

Investigators say they do have a description of a vehicle seen nearby at the time of the fires, but they are not ready to reveal that.

Anyone with information on the arson cases should call the Stewart County Sheriff's Office.

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