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HomeNewsBreakingMultiple fires cause arson investigation | Vernon

Multiple fires cause arson investigation | Vernon

VERNON-Yesterdays structure fire is getting much needed attention from arson investigators and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office.

Arson investigators from Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District, Taylor-Snowflake Fire & Medical, Gilbert Fire and Rescue, and Pinetop Fire District as well as Apache County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Vernon Fire District with the investigation of the recent fires.

“The Apache County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to finding solutions for all incidents we encounter. With strong collaboration with our partners, we can ensure a thorough and effective resolution to any challenges we face,” said Apache County Public Information Officer Jesse C. Robinson.

The most recent structure fire occurred yesterday, off of Stanford Road and Ponderosa.

Arson investigators meet at the structure fire off Standford rd. and Ponderosa. Picture by Mountain Daily Star.
Arson investigators meet at the structure fire off Standford rd. and Ponderosa. Picture by Mountain Daily Star.

Also, yesterday, a BOLO went out over the scanner, saying,” Be on the lookout for a serial arsonist in Apache County.” The radio channel was DPS.

According to the Vernon Fire District, the fires began on December 27 and three are deemed arson, so far.

The total number of burned structures being investigated for arson is not known. However, in last weeks Vernon community meeting, Vernon Fire District Assistant Chief Perrone explained, the structure fires began on December 27 and continued on January 9, January 19, and January 23. A fifth structure is still under investigation.

Then last week, Vernon Fire District responded to two fires, including the current structure fire on Standford and Ponderosa. It seems that the current fire is getting much needed attention from arson investigators and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office.

The scene at the structure fire on Standford and Ponderosa is busy. large lights with generators that give the appearance that investigators aren’t heading home any time soon.

Structure fire off Standford rd. and Ponderosa has lights and multiple trucks showing an active arson scene.
Structure fire off Standford rd. and Ponderosa-lights and multiple trucks showing an active arson scene.

The structure fires are within the same area and seem to have a similar pattern.

Doug Leihbacher author of The Geometry of Fire Investigations explained, The various marks and patterns permanently imprinted on the structure and contents by the smoke, heat, and fire point the observant fire investigator in the direction of area of fire origin. When interpreted properly, these burn patterns allow the investigator to trace the path of fire spread in reverse; this will lead him back to the area where the fire originated to determine what caused the fire.

“When understood properly, burn patterns make the area of fire origin “pop out” at the investigator,” said Leihbacher.

Arson investigators examine the physical attributes of a fire scene and identify and collect physical evidence from the scene. This evidence is then analyzed to help determine if the cause of the fire was accidental or deliberate.

If you have a fire tip call ACSO at (928) 337-4321 option 6 or Vernon Fire District online or call  (928) 537-4895.

If you suspect fire activity is happening or something seems out of place, please call 911.

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