Arsons Continue

By: Tara Hettinger
By: Tara Hettinger

These scenes are becoming all to familiar to Bowling Green residents. They keep happening in the same area.

Just Friday, there was another fire ruled an arson in the downtown Bowling Green area.

"Since I've lived in Kentucky I have not seen this amount of fire activity in a town this size," said Vice President of Target Arson Chuck Coppinger.

That fire on Kentucky Street was the forth ruled as an arson. The others include just down the street where some Western Kentucky University students lived and, in the middle of December, the two on the same day, on Park Street and on Center Street.

All but one were abandoned buildings.

Some other recent fires remain under investigation, which may cause the number of arsons to rise.

This is putting some residents on edge.

"We do ask them to not panic but to be more alert," Bowling Green Fire Chief Gerry Brown said.

Since most of the fires have been on abandoned properties, Chief Brown urges everyone to continue to check on their buildings to make sure they are secure.

Also, he says to report anything you may know or have seen even if it wasn't immediately before the blaze.

"If these are intentionally set fires then they maybe someone is sitting it up to actually have the fire start when they're free and clear from the area," said Coppinger.

Chief Brown says there isn't a statue of limitations for arsons making it so that they can have the case open until they have someone in jail for it.

Also, these crimes will carry a heavier weight, because 3 firefighters were injured while putting out the arsons.

Still, the cause of some other fires in the area have yet to be determined. One even resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

"It's a very difficult crime not only to investigate but to prosecute," said Coppinger.

Signs like these from Target Arson are being posted around the areas where the fires occurred, offering a reward up to a thousand dollars for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the arsonist or arsonists.

If you have any information about any of the fires you can call 1-800-27-arson.

WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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