Before arson, a number of incidents have been found to impact local apartment building

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 08:21:27-04

SUFFOLK, Va. -- Firefighters continued to work Tuesday afternoon at the Suffolk Tower Apartments, where police said an arson occurred. Firefighters were seen approaching a broken-out window using an aerial platform ladder, where burn marks could be seen above the window.

A 69-year-old man has been arrested for the arson and is still under investigation.

This case of arson is one of several incidents that have struck this building.

Suffolk Police said in the last five years, there have been 861 calls to this location. They could not give specifics about the calls but said the calls could have come from the businesses on the street level and the apartments above.

A water leak occurred on June 30, also on the fifth floor. Residents were evacuated and were first told they could seek shelter at a local high school; however, they were placed in a local hotel.

In 2017, there was another arson: A tenant set fire to his own apartment just after New Year’s Day. People were also evacuated.

In 2016, Virginia State Police responded to search an apartment for hazardous materials used to make meth. They arrested a 34-year-old man who had warrants for domestic assault and strangulation charges.

News 3 conducted a search for the property owners through the city's real estate assessments.

We reached out to the listed owners to get their takes on this and the past incidents. We also wanted to inquire how they are caring for the tenants. At this time, we have not heard back.

Related: Suffolk residents stranded in sweltering heat after miscommunication left apartment without power for hours

An internet search for the property owner also came up with an associated law firm. We reached out to them for comment and have also not heard back.

We will keep you updated if we get answers as well as the latest on this arson.