FRONT ROYAL – Court records regarding the Jan. 4 fire at 204 Virginia Ave. reveal that police ruled out any accidental causes of the fire that week and searched resident Alicia Ford Hullihan’s phones for a possible motive.
Hullihan, 47, was charged this week on a count of arson.
A search warrant was obtained for two phones belonging to Hullihan. Front Royal police detective Marc Ramey stated in a January affidavit for that warrant that Hullihan told investigators she left her apartment about 15 minutes before the fire was noticed because she was a cab driver and “received a fare via her cellular phone.”
Ramey states that searching the phones may refute or confirm this claim and there may be “communication that would show motive for the intentional setting of the fire.”
Ramey added that Hullihan received a notice of eviction the day before the fire.
Items seized from the apartment during a search included a 2-gallon plastic gas container and “burn samples.” Ramey states that during an investigation a K-9 “alerted to the presence of an ignitable liquid in the scene.”
Ramey adds that an irregular burn pattern was also found “consistent with the presence of an ignitable liquid being used to start” a fire.