Arson suspected in string of structure fires

A community is on edge after two fires are deemed suspicious.

Investigators believe someone started a fire early Thursday morning that burned down a garage in Herrin, Illinois. Saturday afternoon, another fire broke out in the city.

For Melissa Kraft, buying a home along 12th street in Herrin was a homecoming.

“It’s a nice town, lots of nice homes, nice people,” said Melissa Kraft.

After finding out about three fires in town over the last week, Kraft is second guessing her move.

“I was out of town and that was directly across from me, so that definitely concerned me,” said Kraft.

When investigators started sorting through the ashes, they found evidence that these fires were deliberately set.

“It worries me very much because we have a lot of older people that live in Herrin,” said Darla Orlando. “It’s just scary that they could come in and you go to the grocery store and your house is on fire, or your garage.”

While investigators don’t believe these fires are related, Herrin Community Watch Director Colton Braswell says it’s better to be safe than sorry when leaving home.

“When you see something suspicious call the police department,” said Colton Braswell. “It’s better to call the police department and it’s nothing than to not call the police department and your house, or your neighbor’s house, gets broken into.”

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