Suspicious fire in Clayton ruled arson

Firefighters on the scene of a suspicious fire in the Glen Laurel subdivision on Middlecrest way and Sky Grove Drive in Clayton. (Jim Schumacher)

September 13, 2010 3:33:03 PM PDT
Johnston County authorities investigating a house fire that began Monday morning say it's arson, and it's the seventh in a series of fires in the area.

The fire started overnight in the Glen Laurel subdivision on Middlecrest way and Sky Grove Drive in Clayton.

Firefighters said they got the call around 3:25 a.m., and found flames pouring from the building when they arrived.

The home was still under construction and was not occupied. The developer said it was a home to be used as a model for future sales and was just days away from completion. The finished value would have been about $357,000.

Firefighters have been called to seven similar fires in the Clayton area over the past 12 months. Investigators say the cases are ongoing and a reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in those incidents.

At this time, it is not known if the latest fire is connected to the previous ones.

Neighbors say the sequence of fires worries them.

"We're all concerned. Eventually someone's going to get hurt. That's how we feel," said resident Karen Hughes.

Anyone that may have seen any suspicious vehicles or persons in the area between 1:00 am and 3:30 am on Monday (or have any information about the fire) is asked to call the Clayton Police Department at (919) 553-4611 or Clayton Crime Stoppers at (919) 359-TIPZ (8479). A reward is available for confidential information that leads to an arrest.

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