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Warrant issued in Spruce Village fire
Thursday, June 21, 2012
By AMANDA BUCK - Bulletin Staff Writer
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Spruce Village resident on an arson charge in connection with a June 14 fire that displaced 100 residents at the Martinsville apartment complex, city Fire Marshal Ted Anderson said late Wednesday.
Cheryl Lemons, 60, of 1201 Spruce St., Martinsville, faces the single felony charge, Anderson said. She lived in Apartment 303 at the complex, he said.
Anderson said last week that the blaze began in Apartment 303. At that time, he named Lemons as a “person of interest” in the case.
According to a city news release, “Investigators spoke with a person of interest at the fire scene.”
Anderson said investigators were not concerned that any threat remained to the community after the blaze.
He declined to share details about how the fire began.
The fire department was called to the scene at 11:20 a.m. June 14. When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was visible, and tenants were evacuating, according to the release and previous reports.
The fire was in the building’s A wing, the release said.
All of the building’s occupants were evacuated without injury, Anderson said. Many residents were allowed to return Friday, though officials have said that some apartments will not be re-opened for some time.
On Wednesday, city officials and others met with apartment complex residents and victims of the fire, the release said. Arrangements were made for financial assistance for lodging, cleaning, dry cleaning and storage services, it added.
According to the release, numerous local businesses, agencies and others offered assistance to deal with the fire and its aftermath. They include the Martinsville Police Department, Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and victim witness program, Stone Ambulance, Henry County Department of Public Safety, Martinsville Schools, Pedicare, Medi Home Care, American Red Cross, Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund in Richmond, Blue Ridge Nursing Center, Hairston Home for Adults, Martinsville Senior Center, Adult Day Care Center, various local hotels and nursing homes, Family Pharmacy, volunteer firefighters from the Dyers Store and Collinsville fire departments, Salvation Army and various individuals.
Chick-fil-A, Pigs R Us and Dominos Pizza donated food to firefighters, volunteers and fire victims the day of the fire, it added.
The release also praised Food Lion, Chick-fil-A and Kidd’s Cleaning and Restoration Services for donating food for the fire victims at Wednesday’s meeting. Georgia Pacific Packaging Products Inc. of Bassett and Kidd’s Cleaning and Restoration Services also provided services for victims displaced by the fire, the release said.