ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - State police say 17 abandoned structures in Accomack County were set on fire in the last week.
The two most recent cases happened Tuesday evening near the Parklsey neighborhood and Monday evening in Tasley. In that case, two abandoned homes that sit side by side caught fire.
But police say the arsonist is also known to set several fires in one night in a different parts of the county. Volunteer fire departments in the county have worked long nights, containing the fires set by the suspected serial arsonist.
Sherry Alfree, of Parksley, says she followed fire trucks to some of those scenes.
"They're fully engulfed by the time they get there, these old abandoned houses," Alfree said. "I was watching this last one, I mean it was fully engulfed."
Alfree and other residents worry for the safety of the firefighters.
State police say the buildings the arsonist targets are abandoned, but residents are still uneasy.
"It's scary," Susan Blake, who lives down the road from one of the arson scenes in Melfa said. "It really is scary, because you don't know. They might think it's abandoned and they catch it on fire, but there could be possibly someone living in there they didn't know about."
Blake told WAVY.com she had seen the scene near her home, but did not realize it was the work of an arsonist.
"I saw it just the other day," Blake said. "I went by and I saw the house was burned down, and I'm wondering, 'Why?'"
State police are working to answer that question, but with very little to go on, they are asking the public for help.
Anyone with suspect or incident information is asked to call the state police headquarters at 1-800-582-8350 or 757-424-6820 or contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131.
No injuries have resulted from the fires.
State police is conducting a criminal investigation after a vehicle crashing into a residence on the Eastern Shore.
David Karl Becker, a Navy SEAL, was arrested on four charges related to stealing and selling government-owned firearms and ammunition.
Newport News Police said they are looking for the person who drove into the wall of a car wash and stole a control box.