Arrests made in connection with three suspicious fires Duplin County

Arrests made in connection with three suspicious fires Duplin County

DUPLIN COUNTY - Arrests are made in connection with three suspicious fires in Duplin County. The Duplin County Sheriff's Department arrested a couple who lives right in the middle of all three locations.

Deputies arrested 20-year-old Rayburn Holmes and 19-year-old Alicia Hooper shortly after a third fire was set at an abandoned home on Henry Best Road in Warsaw.

Sheriff Blake Wallace called the suspects a couple living in a home on Henry Best Road about a mile from all three fire locations.

The first fire started at an abandoned home on Phoebe Sutton Road last Wednesday. Investigators said a hay barn in a field near Henry Best Road was set on fire the next day.

NewsChannel 12's Juliana Valencia talked to one of the suspects before he was arrested at his home on Friday. Holmes said he didn't know much about the fire and declined an on camera interview.

The sheriff said the pair moved to the home about two weeks ago.

Holmes and Hooper are both charged with three felony counts of arson of unoccupied buildings. The pair are in the Duplin County Jail, each under a $60,000 bond.

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Two suspicious fires in two days have authorities investigating in Duplin County. These fires started on the same street in isolated areas away from homes or people.

Duplin County Emergency Management Director Reid Southerland said both fires started off of Henry Best Road near Hwy 24 close to Warsaw.

According to Southerland, an abandoned home on Phoebe Sutton Lane caught fire Wednesday night around 9. Thursday night, a barn off of the same road caught fire around the same time.

Reddick Mack's house is in between the two fires. Mack said in the 21 years he's lived on Henry Best road he has only seen one other house catch fire.

Mack finds the abandoned house fire suspicious. He said the floors burned on the abandoned home but not the walls.

"Maybe like somebody put gas and some gas kerosene you know just straight right down through the middle of the house," Mack said.

Southerland said both places did not have any electricity that could spark an accidental fire.

Officials said the cause of both fires are under investigation. Southerland said they'll most likely head back to the scene on Monday to continue investigating.

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