Doolittle Fire responded to 20 suspicious fires in 2020

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:57 PM CST
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From the end of 2019 all the way to last Friday, the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District has responded to 20 intentionally set fires in Newburg, a city just over 400 people.

”We’ve had one vehicle fire, multiple piles of debris on fire, old sheds. Probably two or three structures,” said Doolittle Fire Captain Brandon Williams.

Doolittle Fire Captain Brandon Williams said all 20 are believed to be arson.

”The location, timing. It just boils down to we know that 100% these fires have been intentionally set,” said Williams.

Williams said out of all 20 fires only one life was claimed and it was a dog. Firefighters believe two people set all of the blazes. The Missouri Fire Marshal has investigated some of them but had to close those cases due to lack of evidence.

The district just wants it stop for the safety of the community and the volunteer firefighters.

”Studies have shown that arsonist start out little setting grass on fire and move on to light a house on fire or an occupied house where they know someone is sleeping,” said Williams.

He said it’s frustrating especially when it puts his district in danger.

“The more times we respond the greater the risk increases being involved in a personal injury accident,” said Williams.

The district is asking for everyone to watch for suspicious activity around the Newburg area because it is going to take someone actually witnessing the crime to bring the arson spree to an end.

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