UNION — A fire that damaged two tractors and the interior of a barn is being investigated by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and SLED as a possible act of arson.
Roger Bailey, Public Information Officer for the Soutside Fire Department, said Thursday that his department was dispatched Wednesday at 5:16 p.m. to 2505 Whitmire Highway, Union, in response to a report of a barn being on fire. Bailey said that the Santuc and Monarch fire departments were also dispatched to the scene. He said that when firefighters arrived they were able to quickly extinguish the blaze but remained on the scene for nearly six hours because of the circumstances they encountered.
While they were able to quickly extinguish the blaze and no one was injured, Bailey said firefighters saw some things that looked suspicious and called in the Union County Sheriff’s Office which he said in turn called in SLED to investigate the fire.
The incident report filed by the Sheriff’s Office states that deputies were dispatched to the fire and when they arrived they observed that someone had broken the windows out of a Ford tractor as well as the barn and poured what appeared to be oil on the Ford, a Kubota tractor and several piles of lumber in the barn and set fire to the Kubota and a pile of wood next to it.
The report states deputies assisted firefighters as they arrive and the fire was extinguished. It states that deputies had the Sheriff’s Office arson investigator come to the scene. It further states that SLED was also contacted and also came to the scene as well and collected evidence.
The report states deputies photographed the damaged which consisted of three broken barn windows estimated at $1,500; a burned light and seat on the Kubota estimated at $600; and a broken windshield, both door windows, and the left turn signal on the Ford estimated at $2,500.
Deputies spoke with a witness who the report states initially saw the fire. It states that the witness said he saw a grey or blue SUV or van parked on the drive leading to the barn as he drove to a location down the road to drop some items off. It further states the witness said that when he cam back by the incident location he saw the vehicle leaving and saw smoke coming from the barn.
The case is still under investigation.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.