Buncombe Co. residents, investigators looking for answers after string of ‘suspicious fires’


BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Buncombe County firefighters spent most of Wednesday battling what officials deemed suspicious flames.

It all started with a barn fire early Wednesday morning, then another and three more near the western side of the county.

Leaders with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department told us, they believe these fires were set on purpose and now have an arson investigation on their hands.

This is a day Dean Worley never saw coming.

“I can’t put my thoughts around why someone would do something like this,” said Dean Worley, who lives near where one of the fires happened.

A barn that has been in his family for decades is no more.

“My cousin owns this and he’s pretty upset, like everybody else is,” Worley told us.

Just a couple miles away, another barn not too far from his home, also burned up.

And these weren’t the only flames firefighters were left battling Wednesday morning.

“We started receiving about 6:27 was the first fire, which was a barn fire and over the next two to three hours, we had a total of five fires,” said Ted Godleski, Interim Chief for the Leicester Fire Department.

Interim Fire Chief Ted Godleski with the Leicester Fire Department told us he has never seen anything like this. Same goes for Captain Jake Bishop who told us, putting out the flames in these hay-filled structures has been challenging.

“That’s what took us the longest, trying to soak through all that hay and get it out,” Capt. Bishop explained.

But it’s not just damaged hay Chief Godleski said for farmers in this area, it could really hurt some of their livelihood.

“When you lose several hundred bales of hay, that could be devastating for your feed process during the winter,” Godleski told 7NEWS.

Investigators are now trying to sift through the debris and find a cause but more importantly, a reason.

“Just dealing with it, looking for answers,” Worley told us.

That’s what Worley is looking for too. He’s disheartened but hopeful the person behind it all is caught.

Leaders with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department told 7 News, no one was hurt during all of this.

No arrests have been made as of right now. Anyone with information about what happened is urged to call 828-250-6670.

You can find more details on the fires here.

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