Hunt for suspected Memorial Day arsonist ‘closer to an end’

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No one was home, electricity was turned off and the homes involved in a string of Memorial Day weekend fires were located very close to one another.

That evidence, along with much more, has now led authorities with the Vicksburg Fire Department, State Fire Marshals Office and others to believe those fires were intentionally set. Now, they also have put the focus of their joint investigation on a suspect.

“Our investigators have done a very good job,” Fire Chief Craig Danczyk said. “We have other people we want to interview; the investigation is not complete. We have sent evidence to the state Crime Lab and we’re waiting on the results. We believe the investigation is going well and we’re closer to an end.”

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But even though a suspect has become the focus of the investigation, no arrest has been made and no charges have been filed, according to the Vicksburg Police Department.

In a period beginning with Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, homes on Grove Street and Jackson Street were damaged in a string of fires.

At the beginning of the investigation, Danczyk said evidence — including video evidence — had helped authorities focus on a person of interest.

The first house involved is located at 1711 Grove St. Danczyk said the Saturday fire was the most severe, causing massive damage to the home.

On Sunday, crews responded to 1803 Grove St., where it appeared the fire started on the exterior of the home and worked its way up to the second level and attic.

The third fire, reported Monday, was at 1702 Jackson St.

Danczyk said a neighbor reported the Jackson Street blaze and worked to knock it down using a water hose before crews arrived. That house, Danczyk said, suffered the least amount of damage.