HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – For months, people in King’s Charter have been living on edge after an arsonist zeroed in their community, setting three different fires that caused damages well over a half a million dollars. That included damages to the clubhouse and pool area.
Saturday morning Rudy Burgess said there’s a huge sense of relief in the community, which has more than nine hundred homes and twenty seven hundred residents.
Sgt. Chris Whitley with the Hanover Sheriff’s Office says they feel confident they have the person responsible for setting all three fires.
Whitley explained that on Friday night, police and fire investigators took eighteen year old Jacob Spiro into custody at his family’s home on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
This came after months of investigating. Battalion Chief Willie Jones said since the first of the three fires broke out in April, they were committed to tracking down the person responsible. Two of the fires were set in June, just hours apart.
After working around the clock, investigators got the break they needed and arrested Spiro. CBS 6 News reached out to Spiro’s family at that Monument Avenue home. A man answered the door and quickly slammed it without commenting on the arrest.
A next door neighbor spoke with CBS 6 News off camera and said he saw a heavy police presence Friday night when he went out to run an errand. He says he spotted several men wearing vests with the words arson unit on them.
“I had no idea what was going on because there was no fire at my neighbor’s house. I didn’t know why all the men were there but the ones wearing the vests were outside at first and then they were going back and forth into the house” said the neighbor.
He also says he’s only seen Spiro a couple of times and that the family seemed to be good neighbors.
A check of a local school roster shows that Jacob Spiro was part of the 2012 graduating class at Atlee High School. Now, he’s behind bars.
“A young kid who had his whole life before him. Now, it’s gone. Arson is a felony and he could get 5 to 10 years for each offense” said Battalion Chief Willie Jones.
Spiro is charged with the three fires. He remains in the Pamunkey Regional jail without bond. Burgess says as for the fire damage in their community, it will take them 5 to 6 months to totally rebuild.
He says when the work is done, they’ll have a big celebration in their King’s Charter community.