Norfolk crews investigate string of fires at the Rotunda

Posted at 8:23 AM, Feb 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-23 08:23:22-05
By Brittany Marks, WTKR Intern WTKR-TV38:18 a.m. EST, February 23, 2012

Norfolk, VA—

Residents of the Rotunda apartment building off St. Paul’s Boulevard have been scared to go to bed at night due to the fear of being woken up by another fire.

For the last two mornings, and three mornings last week, residents of the Rotunda have been waking up in fear due to fires starting right in their building. Now, they have been ordered to leave their building for their own safety.

The first fire on January 25, started in a doorway. The second fire on January 27 started in a maintenance closet – and the third fire on January 28 started in a hallway.

The first three fires were each set on the fifth floor around 2 a.m. The two most recent fires were set on the fourth floor in the middle of the night on February 1 and February 2, as a fire marshall stood watch outside of the building.

The last two fires are still under investigation.

The first three fires have been ruled as arson. The FBI has started an investigation to catch the arsonist. A person who is charged with the crime of arson in Norfolk can be prosecuted through the court system and, if convicted, can be punished with fines, penalties, and/or imprisonment.

Fire Chief Harry Worley plans to take action to resolve these fires and catch the arsonist.

“We take that pretty seriously and we want to get this resolved and taken care of so these people can go back to their normal lives without these interruptions,” explained Chief Worley.

It is a very serious and scary situation when the authorities do not know the motive of the arsonist.

According to Fire Chief Harry Worley, “It’s very dangerous anytime you are dealing with fires when you don’t know what the intent is.”

With the intent of all five fires still unclear, the fire marshall has order residents to evacuate the building and stay elsewhere.

The Norfolk Fire Rescue mission is to “protect life, property, and the environment by providing public education, preventing and suppressing fires, mitigating hazards, and caring for the sick and injured.” With their vision always in their mind to prevent harm in the community while maintaining public trust, the Norfolk Fire Rescue has been working for the past weeks trying to keep residents of the Rotunda building safe.