Timeline: Accomack County arson investigation

Posted at 7:09 PM, Apr 02, 2013

Accomack County, Va. - Virginia State Police say that Tonya Bundick and Charles Smith, who many people knew as Charlie Applegate, are suspected in the majority of the arsons set in Accomack County in the past five months.

More charges expected for two accused in Accomack County arson investigation

The first fire was set on November 12th.

Flames first started ripping through abandoned buildings in November.

That month, there were 22 arsons and most of them were set at night.

In the morning, the skeletal, charred remains showed the true scope of the devastation.

By December, there were 37 open fire investigations.

An old home was even torched on Christmas Eve.

By January, more people living on the Eastern Shore began to worry and they became increasingly frustrated that no one was in custody yet.

A brick chimney was the only thing that remained after an historic home was torched in Wachapreague.

By February, the cash reward leading to an arrest was boosted to $25,000.

And investigators revealed they believed it was a group behind the fires. Abandoned homes and buildings were still being targeted.

But on February 13th, there was an attempted arson at a church.

It had only minor damage. Last month, folks held a prayer meeting hoping that would help.

Firefighters were tired. The exhaustion showed on their faces.

In March, checkpoints were set up as investigators from several agencies formed a bigger alliance to stop the firebug.

Then last night, a fire on Airport Drive in Melfa was reported just after 11:30 Monday night.

After this latest fire, a couple was taken into custody.


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