Officials Investigating Several Suspicious Fires

By Angela Sparkman | 

A Pike County community is also battling several building fires and don't know how they started. WYMT's Angela Sparkman has more from Upper Pond Creek and the scare and uncertainty surrounding several fires there in the last few weeks.

"We've experienced a rash of fires," said Lt. James Worley with the Upper Pond Creek Fire Department.

Firemen at the Upper Pond Creek Volunteer Fire Department say they usually work around two fires in an entire year, but it's only March and this year's number is already triple at six, with five in the last week and a half.

"Which is kind of unusual for our fire department," Worley said.

All of the fires were in abandoned buildings and destroyed them all. One spread to a nearby church.

"We thought we lost the church and everything in it," said Larry Hensley with the McVeigh United Baptist Church.

Firefighters were able to put out the flames in time to save the building, but church deacons say it still suffered 11 thousand dollars worth of damage.

"Got the siding off of it, some of the rafters and in the kitchen part, they got the ceiling tile," Hensley said.

Investigators don't know how the buildings caught on fire.

"They did not have any utilities hooked up to them and they had been abandoned for many years," Worley said.

He says the state fire marshal and state police arson investigators are trying to find the cause.

It may have been a stressful week and the fires caused a lot of damage, but fireman and community members are glad no one was hurt, or even worse.

"We've been fortunate, very fortunate," Worley said.

"We thank God that nobody got hurt," Hensley said.

Upper Pond Creek firemen hope the random fires have stopped, but say they're ready if there are more.

Church members at McVeigh United Baptist Church are still able to meet in their building, despite the damage.

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