State canine in Sherwood Shores to investigate string of suspicious fires

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERWOOD SHORES, TEXAS -- A string of alleged arsons in Sherwood Shores is now getting the attention of state fire investigators.

There have been seven house fires in just eleven days in one area.

Today, they brought in an arson dog to help them find whoever's responsible.

It could require a dog's sense of smell to solve the string of suspicious fires happening in Sherwood Shores.

"Arson's probably one of the hardest crimes to, you know, identify somebody on," Grayson Co. Fire Marshal Kevin Walton said.

Walton has a handful of leads on suspects, but the odors the alleged arsonist left behind at this crime scene could be key to moving the investigation forward -- and for that, he enlists Nico.

"When he gets an odor he goes to the strongest point, strongest source of the odor and indicates, by passive indication of sitting down," state fire investigator Clinton Williams said.

Almost immediately, Nico detects a fire accelerant odor here, where part of the fire was started. Then another at this broken window.

"Based on those two locations where he indicated, I mark the locations and take a sample from actually where he placed his nose," Williams said.

Those samples are now on their way to a lab for testing.

"We'll start to get a list of if they're using the same thing over and over again to light these fires with then we'll know that. We'll have a pattern," Walton said.

Right now, Walton knows that the culprit has targeted vacant homes and is likely a resident of Sherwood Shores.

They're also not ruling out that this person could be linked to other suspicious fires in the same area years ago.

"It's another piece of the puzzle. Another lead to look at," former Sherwood Shores fire investigator Benjamin Blackwell said.

It's been about three days since the house behind me was set on fire on Sunday.

Walton says, unfortunately, the way the alleged arsonist has been working, Sherwood Shores could be due for another fire.

Investigators hope that this canine will lead them to the culprit to prevent that from happening.

Kevin Walton says his phone has been ringing off the hook with tips and they're following every lead.

If it is one person responsible for these seven fires, they could be facing life in prison.


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