13 suspicious fires in Massac Co. under investigation

Search for suspicious suspect on fires in Massac County

MASSAC COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Massac County Sheriff’s Department are currently investigating 13 fires considered suspicious in Massac County.

Not all of the fires were to buildings or structures.

According to Massac County Investigator Chad Kaylor, a man was caught on camera at a residence lighting a tire.

This incident reportedly happened in the Hillerman community on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Kaylor says 11 of the fires were reported in Hillerman, one was reported in Joppa, and one was reported in the Joppa area.

Investigators believe all of the suspicious fires are connected and that one or more persons are responsible.

The last fire was reported on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Officials from the Massac County Fire Department says three of the fires in Hillerman were in abandoned buildings.

On October 18 at 1:19 a.m. Massac County and Joppa fire crews battled a structure fire at 11 Hillerman Circle and a barn fire at 756 Grand Chain Rd. The Massac County Sheriff’s Office reports that both buildings had excessive damage.

A few hours later at 4:20 a.m., crews were dispatched back out to 756 Grand Chain Rd. This time the home at the property was on fire.

The home received significant damage.

Massac Co. fires under investigation

The fifth fire was on Tuesday, Nov. 20 on Shady Loop Road around 10:30 p.m.

Donald Meyer said in the 40 years he’s lived there, he hasn’t seen something so scary.

“Sure I’m worried,” Meyer said. "I don’t have honey to live in a motel or some place if somebody torched this place.”

He thinks someone in the community started the fires.

Others that Heartland News spoke with said they think it may be an out of towner. However, all residents think it’s somebody - and not something - started them.

“It would be real unusual for it to be electrical or gas or something,” Meyer said.

One resident who didn’t want to be interviewed caught the moment the only structure not listed as abandoned burnt down around 3:40 a.m. on Sunday, November 18, though not much can be determined from it.

The county fire department and the state fire marshal don’t have any suspects at this time. So in the meantime, people of Hillerman are keeping a close eye on their homes.

“I’d hate to leave for any length of time,” Meyer said. “I’m concerned.”

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