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Stone County Firefighters Search for Arsonist After Five Intentionally Set Fires

REEDS SPRING, Mo. -- Stone County Firefighters are on the hunt for an arsonist after the fifth fire in Reeds Spring. The most recent one took place at the Valley View Apartment Complex last Friday. All five fires have been within walking distance of each other.
REEDS SPRING, Mo. -- Stone County firefighters are on the hunt for an arsonist after the fifth fire in Reeds Spring.

The most recent fire took place at the Valley View Apartment Complex last Friday.  All five fires have been within walking distance of each other.

The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District is actively searching for who is responsible and firefighters hope whoever it is gets caught before someone gets hurt or killed.

"It makes your heart race, you never think it's going to happen to you," says Reeds Spring Resident Wade Cary.

He was home Friday when his apartment building was set on fire.

"I've heard stories about other places," he says.  "But I didn't think it would actually happen to us."

Cary lives at the Valley View Apartment complex which was the Reeds Spring arsonist's latest target.

"I went outside and saw the flames underneath the porch," he says.  "And I ran back inside and told my wife to call 911 and get out of here."

The arsonist has set four other fires within walking distance.  One was a grass fire on Keystone Road.  The others were at the Chop Shop Hair and Nail Studio, a building adjacent to that and the Wellspring Apartment Complex.  Of the five fires, Friday's fire is the second one that started at an outdoor dryer vent.

"We really aren't sure what to look for," says Southern Stone County Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Eric Nielsen.  "Because all the suspicious fires have been not really consistent, these are the first two that are identical.  The others have been either suspicious or obvious with gasoline put on, stuff like that."

Firefighters were able to extinguish Friday's fire quickly, leaving behind minimal damage.

"They're not targeting one specific property owner or tenant," says Nielsen.

Firefighters are hopeful whoever it is that's playing with fire will be caught before someone gets hurt.

"It's a little scary," says Cary.  "Is it going to be you, is it going to be your friend next?"

"Everybody keep your eyes out," says Nielsen.  "Let's find out who's doing this before they strike again.  We will find them."

Nielsen says to make sure you have a working smoke detector.

If you have any information or see anything suspicious, call 911 or the Stone County Sheriff's Office at 417-357-6116.


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