String of Fires

String of Fires
By:  Wes Wallace

Cairo, IL -- A string of fires in Cairo kept crews from six departments extremely busy on Wednesday afternoon, but not quite as busy as the person who investigators say started all the blazes.

Cairo Police tell Heartland News they arrested 19-year old Pristine Henderson while she was starting her fifth housefire of the afternoon.
It all started around 3 p.m. on 22nd Street.  Firefighters responded to the scene, only to notice another house and a car were on fire, just around the corner on Martin Luther King Drive.  Two blocks over, on 24th Street, arson investigators take a look at one home in the 700 block, as fire crews keep a close eye on a house still smoldering in the 800 block.
“She lost everything, everything, there’s nothing left, it’s just a shell,” says Reari Fitzgerald, “I came down the street to see what the fuss was all about, and then I noticed there was another house on fire, and then I said wait a minute, that’s my momma’s house!”
 Fitzgerald’s mother wasn’t at home at the time the fire started.  For now there aren’t any reports of injuries from any of the fires on Wednesday.
Later that evening, police charged Pristine Henderson with charges of attempted arson and criminal trespass. Fire investigators also point out two other homes burned on Saturday on 22nd Street, and explain more charges could be filed as the investigation continues. Extended Web Coverage

Fire Facts
  • In 1992 fire departments in the United States responded to 1,964,500 fires.
  • There were 637,500 structure fires in 1992, of which 472,000 occurred in residences. There were 922,000 "outside property" (not in structures) fires in 1992.
  • In 1999, there were 523,000 structure fires, 74% of which were in homes. There were 3,570 fire deaths, 81% of them in homes.
  • Property damage from fires was over 10 billion dollars
over half of which was residential property.
  • Fire deaths peak from the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. These fires often smolder for several hours, then suddenly produce large quantities of smoke and open flames.
  • About 100 firefighters are killed each year in duty-related incidents.
  • Between 1994 and 1998, an average of 4,400 people lost their lives and another 25,100 were injured annually as the result of fire.
  • Source:  Kitchener