State investigates Shelby fire
by Chance Wright
Sep 25, 2012 | 3103 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ashley Schindler, State Fire Marshal Inspector David Borgognoni, Fireman Justin Watson and Fire Chief Joe Phillips inspect the storage building destroyed by fire Saturday.
Ashley Schindler, State Fire Marshal Inspector David Borgognoni, Fireman Justin Watson and Fire Chief Joe Phillips inspect the storage building destroyed by fire Saturday.
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SHELBY — The State Fire Marshal's office has taken over the investigation of a destroyed storage building behind the old Shelby Bed and Breakfast, located at 705 Broadway, on old U.S. Highway 61 in Shelby, Saturday evening.

Over the past year, the town of Shelby has been plagued by numerous questionable fires, mainly to abandoned homes located in the northern portion of Bolivar County.

The State Fire Marshal's Office has been involved in several investigations in the area during that time.

According to the 911 dispatcher's log, a call of a structure fire came into the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department at 8:34 p.m. Saturday and the Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department was immediately dispatched to the scene.

By the time the fire department arrived on scene the structure was fully engulfed in flames and the first priority was to protect the surrounding structures.

One reason the fire is believed to have burned so intensely and the structure destroyed so quickly was because multiple chemicals were being stored in the structure at the time.

According to the property owner the building contained a mixed array of miscellaneous items, including chemicals, tools, lawn equipment and housewares.

The main house was vacant at the time of the fire and there was a For Sale sign posted in the front yard.

Prior to the fire, the property owners had reported a John Deere lawn mower and several tools being stolen from the structure earlier that day.

The lawn mower has since been recovered and is in possession of the Shelby Police Department.

According to information received by The Bolivar Commercial, the Fire Marshal's Office and the Shelby Police Department are actively searching for Jerome Fields, who is wanted for questioning in connection with this crime.

Fields also has other warrants issued on him.

The property owner has put up a $200 reward for any information leading to the arrest.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Fields or who may have more information on Saturday evening's fire is being urged to contact the Shelby Police Department at 662-398-5155.