Fire at training ground probed

Apr. 02, 2013 @ 05:28 PM

The Henderson Police Department training facility on Oxford Road was hit by a weekend brushfire that is now under investigation as a possible crime.

Police criminal investigators, along with state and federal authorities, are sifting through the debris that includes three burned acres of brush, woods and a utility shed, according to Lt. Alan Hedgepeth.

Damage was estimated at $10,000.

Henderson Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson said he went out to the area at 4755 U.S. 158 on Monday.

“They had the SBI and forestry service fire investigator out there,” Wilkerson said. “It was a cook shed that burned up.”

Wilkerson said city firefighters were not part of the joint response on Saturday afternoon by several county fire departments, led by Watkins volunteers.

Vance County Fire Chief Harold Henrich said Vance firefighters joined the Watkins crew to respond to the 4:44 p.m., call, with support including Hicksboro and Cokesbury departments also.

Hedgepeth said the focus of the investigation is on cause and origins. The police criminal investigations unit, the State Bureau of Investigation and the fire investigator for the U.S. Forestry Service are working jointly.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.