The State Fire Marshal’s office is offering a $5,000 reward for information on a rash of fires in rural Lauderdale County.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said eight suspicious fires have been reported over the last year in the Northwest part of the county. The buildings were abandoned when the fires occurred, and no injuries were reported, he said.
The latest fire was Monday night and destroyed the old Martin school and store near Collinsville Martin Road and Newton Martin Road. Sollie said investigators are looking for someone who was in the Martin area from dusk to 7 p.m. on Monday, shortly before the fire was reported.
Volunteers firefighters from Bailey, Collinsville and the Suqualena Fire Departments assisted in putting out the fire, and water tanks were brought in from the Sam Dale and Toomsuba stations. Volunteer firefighters from the Duffee and Beulah Hubbard departments in Newton County also fought the fire.
Martin Volunteer Fire Chief Jeremy Pogue said the department responded to another fire a few months ago at another abandoned building.
Sollie said people with any information about the fires should call East Mississippi Crimestoppers at 1-855-485-TIPS or the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department at 601-482-9806.