Arson investigations continue in Kennett

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Kennett police and firemen continue to investigate arson fires in the city. 

Assistant Fire Chief David Horton said investigators are pursuing leads from the public and suspect someone may be trying to cover up thefts in abandoned homes and buildings.


The view from Tom Miller's home on East Fifth Street has been an eyesore since an early morning fire May 8 burned down the vacant house across the street. "It's happening all over town," he said.


"I woke up, saw the red lights flashing across the street, and I came outside to look and see what was going on, and those flames on the house fire were shooting higher than the trees."


Assistant Chief Horton said the latest fire in the city is the twelfth since November 2011 when the Kennett Country Club burned to the ground. "On a weekly basis it seemed like about every Saturday night we were out on a (sic) arson fire."


The area near Frisco and Whitney Streets is also a hot spot. One of several fires investigators believe someone started intentionally happened right next to door to Pamela Smith and her husband the week they moved into their house in January. "We've got quite a few on this strip."


"It's got the insurance down here so high. For fire insurance, if you're a renter, you can't get insurance. It's just outrageous."


Kennett residents hope authorities find the culprit soon.


"I don't know if it's (for) the insurance," Smith said. "I don't know, but it's sad that they're running all these houses down."


Anyone with information about the cases should call the Missouri State Fire Marshal at 1-8000-39ARSON, or the Kennett Police Department at (573) 888-4622.

There is a $5,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction.

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