After string of local fires, officials wonder if arsonist is at work

NOLANVILLE, Texas (KWTX) A string of suspicious fires in Nolanville and Belton has some wondering if an arsonist is on the loose.

(Central Bell Fire & Rescue photo)

In the span of two weeks in October, the Central Bell Fire and Rescue Team responded to three fires in Nolanville and one in Belton.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents, which involved two homes at 5300 Block of Dogridge Road and 200 Block of West St John Avenue, a church, and a storage facility stocked with school furniture in the 13600 Block of FM 439.

Within hours of putting out the flames, officials determined three of those fires were arson.

Bell County Fire Marshall Steven Casey has spent more than a month reviewing the cases.

“The month of October was a really active month for Central Bell Fire,” Casey said.

“We had three fires that were determined to be arson and through my determination, through my investigation, we did determine they were three separate incidents that were not connected,” he says.

The fourth fire broke out at the First Baptist Church at 200 East Avenue H in Nolanville and was reported as an electrical fire with no suspicious causes.

Casey adds that although he doesn't believe the three arson cases are connected, anyone involved should know there are consequences for putting firefighters’ lives at risk.

“Maybe someone thinks that they're doing something innocent or getting rid of an old junk house, but in fact, they are putting people in harm's way. People can die,” said Casey.

Fire trucks responding to a blaze could be involved in accidents and firefighters could suffer potentially lethal injuries while battling the flames, he said.

“If they do, and they started a fire on purpose, intentionally, then that's a criminal offense.”

The arson cases are still under investigation and authorities are asking anyone with information to call the Bell County Fire Marshall’s office at (254) 933-5589.