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Vinton house fire ruled arson

12-30-2008 Virginia:

In an e-mail late Monday afternoon, Vinton police said they’ve interviewed several people about a house fire on Hardy Road Saturday night but have not named any suspects.

Investigators declared it a definite arson.

The home belonged to an around 90-year-old mother.

Her son, _____, and his wife lived there.

_____ is a registered sex offender after a run-in with Bedford County’s Operation Blue Ridge Thunder in 2002.

He was convicted of taking indecent liberties with children, according to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry website.

Roanoke County court records also revealed an August 2008 arrest for dealing marijuana and getting caught with a gun as a convicted felon.

Records show the charges were certified to a grand jury which will meet this February.

If investigators know why an arsonist targeted _____’s home, they’re not saying.

A search warrant for the property which would have revealed more information about the investigation was sealed from public view late Monday morning.

A 10 On Your Side update to a fire that destroyed a home in Vinton this past Saturday.

Investigators tell us it was arson.

The fire sparked around 10:30 p.m. December 27th, at a home in the 1300 block of Hardy Road.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue says no one was in the home at the time.

It took firefighters about an hour to put out the flames. The home is a total loss.
The ATF is helping with the investigation. ..News Source.. by Scott Leamon, WSLS10 Reporter

UPDATED: Investigators believe Vinton house fire was deliberately set

New details about a weekend fire that destroyed a Vinton home.

The fire marshal's office ruled the fire an arson about 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Investigators believe an accelerant may have been used to start it from inside the house.

"The process we're going through right now is we're layering the fire debris that was left over from the destruction of the fire and seeing what we can find in the way of what started the fire," said Brian Simmons, with the Roanoke County Fire Marshal's Office.

Roanoke County called in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help.

"They're just here, extra hands, a lot of work, a lot of fire debris to go through, so adding extra hands at this point," said Simmons.

Those extra hands paid off. By Monday afternoon, investigators ruled the fire arson saying someone set it from the inside.

But why? That question was raised on when it was revealed the home's owner was a sex offender. According to court records, _____ was convicted in Bedford County in 2002 for indecent liberties with a minor.

Investigators contacted News7 asking we disable the public commenting section on the story for _____'s safety and the integrity of the case. News7 had already removed the comment section because it discussed crimes against children.

An ATF agent says _____ is listed as a sex-offender because of an Internet child sex sting, and there was no actual contact with a minor.

Police say they've talked to _____, and he's helping in the investigation.

News7 allows public comment on most of our stories on However, when stories deal with sex crimes and victims' names are used, public commenting is not allowed.

In this case, News7 allowed public commenting because the original story was about the house fire.


Two people in Vinton are homeless after a fire destroyed their house in the 1300 block of Hardy Road.

It happened at around 10:30 Saturday night. No one was home when the house caught fire. It took firefighters more than an hour to get it under control.

Because of the extensive damage, both the Roanoke County Fire Marshal and the ATF gathered clues to figure out what may have sparked it.

..Source.. by

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