Putting A Face To The Fires - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Putting A Face To The Fires

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ACCOMACK CO., Va. - 40 year-old Tonya Bundick, and 38 year-old Charles Smith III.  Investigators are confident this couple could be responsible for the majority of the 77 fires which blazed through Accomack County Virginia since November.
     
After receiving 1,200 tips since February 14th, this close-knit community is not only well informed, it's willing to share that information.

"I think they're like the modern day Bonnie and Clyde," said one resident, nearly 3 weeks ago.

Not much is known about these alleged fire-starters.  Smith and Bundick ran two separate businesses out of a building in Tasley: Charlie's Auto Shop and A Tiny Taste of Toot.     

While at Smith's Autobody Shop, WMDT came across a childhood friend.

"I can't, I couldn't believe it was him when I heard it," says Wayne Wesselss, "it's probably the stupidest thing you could have done."

They are said to have been dating and a living together at a home in Parksley.
Reports show Tonya is the mother of at least one child, a thirteen-year-old son.
 
Virginia State Police say Charles Smith was not working as a firefighter during the five month arson investigation, but WMDT found a Charlie Applegate, which is Smith's alias, listed as a Captain with the Tasley Volunteer Fire Company, located less than a mile away from his shop.

Both Smith and Bundick do have prior records, littered with minor offenses throughout Delmarva, there's nothing which seems to hint at their involvement in an arson spree.

While the arrests may ease some worries, many wait with bated breath...hoping the arrest of Tonya Bundick and Charles Smith spells the end of a hectic five months for this relatively quiet eastern shore community.

To clarify, Tonya Bundick and Charles Smith III have only officially been charged with felony arson and felony conspiracy to commit arson in the April 1st fire in Melfa.

As this story develops, it's important to note that in Virginia, state law declares the burning of a structure, an unoccupied dwelling, as a Class 4 Felony. 

This carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 per structure.

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