Six suspicious house fires may be linked - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Six suspicious house fires may be linked

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MASSAC COUNTY, Ill. --  Massac County deputies and fire investigators are searching for whoever responsible for a string of six suspicious house fires in the county, all within about a month. Five of the fires have already been confirmed as arson.

The first fire happened around Halloween. The most recent was a trailer fire Sunday on Grand Chain Road.

Officials say so far the arsonist has been targeting vacant homes. Residents in the area tell News 3, they're not happy the arsonist hasn't been caught, but appreciate the work law enforcement is doing. 

"People are a little on edge doors that used to be never locked are now locked and things like that," said Lyndal Qualls, Massac County resident.

Qualls has lived in Massac County for decades, but for the first time, he says he feels unsafe.

This comes after a series a fires ignited in the Hillerman area. One, right behind Qualls' house.

Qualls said, "Now we are concerned. Who wouldn't be? I mean this is a quiet little community. I've been here for 28 years there has never been any major incidents until now."

The fires were in the Hillerman area, the Joppa area, and on Highway 45.

Still, residents like Qualls, and others who didn't want to go on camera, said they just want a suspect to be caught. 

"I hope it'll be solved soon, I think we'll all rest a little bit easier, but we're probably not going to let our guard down like we had in the past," said Qualls.

Fire investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of Sunday night's fire. Massac County deputies and firefighters are working closely with the Illinois State Fire Marshal to investigate the arson.

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