KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Multiple fires are being investigated in the Kernersville/Walkertown area.
Forsyth County fire officials say there have been six fires in the area, similar in nature, in just the past three weeks. Two of the fires are listed as arson investigations on the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office website.
Documents show that one of the fires was discovered around 11:30 Saturday night on Duke Energy property, located along Salem Road in Walkertown. A report says that “unknown suspect(s) set small fires to open land areas.”
The same description was given on separate report, also listed as arson, on a property just a few miles away. That property was that of Viola Bowman on Old Flatrock Road in Kernersville. The report shows that fire was discovered at 10:35 Sunday morning.
“It really upsets me that somebody would do something like this to me, or anyone,” said Bowman. “Fire is dangerous. Very dangerous. And I’m terrified of fire.”
A pile of timber, surrounded by trees and a couple old buildings, had caught fire. Bowman had no idea there was a fire on her property. Fire officials later said that they did attempt to contact Bowman after the fire was contained, but were unsuccessful.
“It could have been a lot worse. It could have, if the wind was blowing right, just went right on across, maybe jumped the road,” said Bowman.
Jimmy Barrow is Bowman’s neighbor, who also happens to be the former Kernersville Fire Chief of 22 years. He lives almost directly across the street from where the fire started, however, he was away at the time. He says it’s important to put a stop to these kinds of fires because if there is one person or group behind them, it could get much worse.
“They have a tendency, once they start doing that, when that doesn’t satisfy them, they’ll migrate into larger fire situations,” said Barrow. “It’s important it be stopped before they get to something that involves some real property damage or eventually leads to someone losing a home.”
Forsyth County fire officials say they are working with the sheriff’s office to look into the fires. They met as recently as Monday morning to review the cases. They say all of the fires are still being ruled as undetermined and are currently under investigation.