Accomack Co. Officials Accepting Donations For Arson Volunteers - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Accomack Co. Officials Accepting Donations For Arson Volunteers

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ACCOMACK Co., Va -  It may be hard to believe, but the number of arsons in Accomack County is now up to 74 over just 135 days.  

Community support for these volunteers has been tremendous. And now, local government is stepping in. Accomack County officials opened a bank account provided free of charge by Shore bank in Onley. They are accepting donations to assist fire companies with gas money, food and new equipment.

"Our average set of turnout gear is about $1400, and we've replaced four sets of gear so far this year," Parksley Volunteer Fire Company Fire Chief Phillip Kelly said.

"The other night we went to McDonalds and we purchased 100 cheeseburgers at the Whispering Pines fire just to feed the guys because everyone was going to be there so long," firefighter in training Jon Morell said.

Since November 12, fire response increased more than 126%. Volunteer fire crews on-call night after night.On average, 20 firefighters respond to reported structural fires and remain on the scene for about 2.5 hours - that's 3,700 hours spent away from family and friends.

"Running out of the house in the middle of the night - it's been a big drain," Parksley Volunteer Fire Company President Fred Matthews said.

Virginia State police head this arson investigation, but we know they've had to pull in additional state and federal resources. How much is it costing tax payers? WMDT asked, but state police did not have an answer.

"We know the community is frustrated, we are so, and were determined to put a stop to these fires for the safety of everyone. There's a crime to be solved and we'll stay out here until they're solved we're not going to go away," Virginia State Police Public Information Officer Corinne Geller said.

Monetary donations can be dropped off at any Shore Bank location or mailed to:

Shore Bank
c/o Accomack Firefighter's Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 920
Onley, VA 23418

Donors can also contact Billie Jean Miles at the Accomack County Department of Public Safety at 757-789-3610 or 757-824-4274 for assistance.

Fire departments are also in need of donations including coffee, hot chocolate, creamer, sugar, sweeteners, coffee cups, regular cups, bottled water, sport drinks, protein and granola bars, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc. You can drop off these items at any of these locations:

  • Pocomoke Animal Hospital, Pocomoke, MD
  • Contours, Exmore
  • Tangled Salon, Exmore
  • Cycle Creations Highway Market, New Church
  • Arcadia Nursing & Rehab – Quail Run, Nelsonia
  • Martha's Kitchen, Saxis
  • H.W. Drummonds, Greenbush
  • Attitudes Fitness, Onancock
  • Walmart, Onley
  • A.J's Meat Barn, Cheriton
  • Dockside Properties, Chincoteague
  • Chris' Bait and Tackle, Capeville
  • Cape Charles Rescue Squad
  • Shore Bank, Onley – Exmore – Onley Headquarters & Chincoteague

If you have information which could lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these fires, you could pocket a $25,000 reward. For the sake of everyone who lives in Accomack County and the folks fighting these fires, please do not hesitate to call the tip line 757-655-1437.

Department of Public Safety tips for county residents:

  • Ensure working smoke detectors on every floor of your home
  • Create a family escape plan. Have a designated meeting place outside
  • Remain vigilant
  • Report suspicious activity

If you don't have a smoke detector, you can contact DPS at 757-789-3610 for assistance. 

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Accomack Arsons - Continuing Coverage
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