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Investigators looking for suspects in early morning fires

By Joe Beck

Early morning fires deemed suspicious by authorities destroyed or heavily damaged two buildings in southwestern Shenandoah County on Friday.

No one was injured in the fires that were reported about an hour and a half apart.

Fire Marshal David Ferguson said in a news release that the fires are being investigated as "set fires."

John Collins, a spokesman for the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, said later in the day that Ferguson had no comment on whether the fires are related.

"He is not going to release that information because of the ongoing investigation," Collins said.

Dispatchers sent firefighters to the first fire at 2:35 a.m. at 4939 Orkney Grade near Morning Star Road. Firefighters arrived to find an abandoned mobile home almost completely engulfed in flames.

Firefighters finishing their work at the scene took a call at 3:59 a.m. of another fire in an unoccupied farm storage building at 7063 Senedo Road near North Mountain Road.

Flames had spread throughout the masonry building and were threatening vehicles and other buildings at the time firefighters arrived.

Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading elsewhere before they extinguished it. Units from Orkney Springs, Mount Jackson, Conicville, Edinburg, Woodstock, New Market, Timberville, Shenandoah County responded to both fires.

Collins described the Senedo Road structure as heavily damaged and the Orkney Grade building as destroyed.

The fires remain under investigation by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal's Office. The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, the Frederick County Fire Marshal and Virginia State Police are also investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson at 459-6177. An unspecified reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and indictment of anyone involved in setting the fires.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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