Series of suspicious fires sparks concern among Fayetteville residents, business owners

Monique John Image
Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Series of suspicious fires sparks concern in Fayetteville
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Several mysterious fires at properties along Murchison Road in Fayetteville have area residents and businesses on edge.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A series of mysterious fires at properties along Murchison Road in Fayetteville is stoking anxiety for people in the area.

Anthony Terc describes what happened to his vape shop on Fayetteville's Murchison Road as five years of business burned to the ground. The Spot vape shop caught on fire at 2:30 a.m. Monday.

"I'm still processing it right now because this is my main source of income. I was using this bring my mom and my brother out from New York," Terc said.

Terc's landlord, Tre Mack, said the loss is staggering with an estimate of about $75,000 in damages. But Terc said he's grieving what he lost.

"The building material -- you know, I had to put up the walls myself, the shelves myself, I had a bunch of TVs in there. All the products I had behind the counter," Terc said.

The building itself sustained major damage.

"It looks like it's going to need an entire new roof. Maybe even rafters, too," Mack said. "Definitely going to need probably new wiring. Wires are damaged. AC units was damaged. So, it's going be costly."

The Fayetteville Fire Department says the fire was started from the outside.

The fire department also said there have been more than 13 fires in the Murchison Road, Slater Avenue and Jasper Street area since the beginning of the year. These incidents include building fires, dumpster fires and outside grass fires, several of which had been set intentionally.

Several houses that have been burned showed evidence of potentially being set on fire by squatters trying to keep warm and cook. In April, Fayetteville police said a man was arrested and charged with arson after two houses were burned down in the 100 block of Jasper Street.

Mack said he's worried someone might be using arson to drive owners like him out of the area.

"I'm thinking someone is thinking that if the property has so much damage that it's too expensive to fix and outside of whatever the insurance would do, that they could probably buy the land cheap," Mack said. "With Murchison Road getting more money that it needs to make it more vibrant, it's being looked at now because prices are still cheap in this area. A lot of people want to get into the real estate and this is prime real estate... I guess someone's seen opportunities on this side and tried to capitalize on it."

Fayetteville police said the incident is still under investigation and a determination hasn't been made on whether this was arson.