Midlothian teen charged with torching house, setting other fires

Daniel Adkins (PHOTO: Chesterfield Sheriff's Office)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield County teenager was arrested and charged with arson, connected to two county fires, a Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

Daniel J. Adkins, 18, of Midlothian, is accused of starting the fire that destroyed a vacant home on Millcrest Terrace Wednesday morning, Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson Lt. Jason Elmore said. He is also accused of starting fires Monday morning at the Wilton Square Shopping Center.

Adkins confessed to setting the fires after he was taken into custody and questioned, Crime Insider Burkett reported Wednesday evening.

Millcrest Terrace fire

Police received a call before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday for a person breaking into vehicles along Millcrest Terrace, off Watermill Parkway, in Chesterfield.

Once officers arrived on scene, they found a trash can on fire along a walking trails. Shortly thereafter, police discovered a vacant three-story house fully engulfed in flames.

Millcrest Terrace fire (PHOTO: Chesterfield County Fire and EMS)

A neighbor told CBS 6 News he saw a man leaving the area, who he described as about six-feet tall, wearing tan pants and a dark hoodie.

The neighbor initially called 911 for the suspicious person breaking into cars.

"It all happened so quickly and within probably 10 or 15 minutes from the time I saw [the man] to the time I saw flames," he described. "I could feel the heat coming off the house just standing on my porch. It was quite an experience."

Officers searched the wood line behind the houses, but could not find the suspect.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Firefighters contained the flames in less than 40 minutes. A battalion chief said they attacked the fire from the outside the home because it was too structurally unsound for crews to enter the home.

The home was vacant for only a month and the homeowners recently painted readying it to put it on the market, according to neighbors.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.