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“I don’t believe we have a serial arsonist running around” – Danczyk and Briggs



Is an arsonist on the loose? (Photo by David Day)
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There have been many fires in Vicksburg/Warren County over the past 60 days. The Vicksburg Daily News has taken a look at each structure fire, its known cause and the status of the flames, along with getting explanations from Chief Danczyk and FireBoss Jerry Briggs.

“It’s all over the map. We’ve had some accidental, some cooking, we’ve had storm, we’ve had some idle properties that were vulnerable, we’ve had some commercial. We’ve had a tragic fatality. It is elevated, that’s a fact, but I don’t believe we have a serial arsonist running around,” explained Chief Danczyk.

When the Vicksburg Daily News asked Warren County FireBoss Jerry Briggs, “Do you see any indication of a serial arsonist running around?” Briggs responded, “No.”

Here is the listing of the “structure fire” calls as provided by Briggs and Danczyk. Danczyk listed city fire calls from Nov. 5, 2021 and Briggs listed county fire calls from Nov. 25, 2021 to to Jan. 25:

Date – address -fire information (if available), current status of the fire:

  • Nov. 5, 2021 – 1225 Bowmar Ave, under investigation.
  • Nov. 12, 2021 – Fayette Street, nothing suspicious, no further investigation.
  • Nov. 28, 2021 – 2200 MLK, shed fire, under investigation.
  • Dec. 2, 2021 – 1127 Harrison St. accidental, no further investigation
  • Dec. 15, 2021 – 1805 Washington Street, storm-related, no further investigation
  • Dec. 15, 2021 – 122 Woodstock, undetermined, no further investigation

Fire on Woodstock. (Photo by David Day)

  • Dec. 17, 2021 –  2200 MLK, under investigation.
  • Dec. 23, 2021 – 3120 South Frontage, under investigation with a person of interest.
  • Dec 24, 2021 – 510 Bazinsky Road, cooking fire, accidental.
  • Dec. 25, 2021 – 2510 Washinton Street, under investigation.
  • Dec. 26, 2021 – 2223 Letitia Street, someone entered the property, under investigation, a small fire was set but extinguished.
  • Dec. 30, 2021 – 1700 Jeff Davis, mobile home fire, no further investigation.
  • Jan. 2 – 2629 Hannah Avenue, visible smoke, electrical fire.
  • Jan. 3 – Common Circle, heater fire
  • Jan. 3 – 1725 North Washington, industrial fire, accidental, no further investigation.
  • Jan. 8 – Warrenton Road, electrical outlet, no further investigation.
  • Jan. 8 – Ameristar parking garage, vehicle fire, no further investigation.

Vehicle fire at Ameristar casino. Photo by David Day

  • Jan. 9 – 212 Sherman Avenue, lightning strike, storm-related incident.
  • Jan. 9 – Walters Street, smoke, no fire found.
  • Jan. 10 – 501 Speed street, under investigation.
  • Jan. 10 – 517 Speed street, light smoke, possible rekindle.
  • Jan. 12 – 83 Clayton drive, fatality, accidental.
  • Jan. 13 – 1401 Spring Street, accidental.
  • Jan. 13 – 1803 Clay Street, commercial business, under investigation.
  • Jan. 15 – China Grove, couch fire, contained. The fire was out when firefighters arrived. No further investigation was deemed necessary.
  • Jan. 18 – Grove Street, apartment, smoke. No further investigation.
  • Jan. 18 – Curry Street, microwave fire. No further investigation.
  • Jan. 18 – Structure fire, Redwood Road, total loss, still under investigation but most likely accidental.

Gerald Spiers continues to work the end phase of the fire. Photo by David Day

  • Jan. 18 – 121 Sherwood Drive, heavy flames showing, electrical, accidental.
  • Jan. 21 – Vine Street, water tank on fire. No further investigation.
  • Jan. 21 – 1504 Lummie Street, vacant building, under investigation.
  • Jan. 21 – Nailor Road, chimney fire, no damage, no further investigation.
  • Jan. 22 – 105 Elms Court, unsafe practices, accidental.
  • Jan. 23 – Jackson Street, heating element. No further investigation.
  • Jan. 23 – 1504 Lummie Street, rekindle. Fire debris in the cistern caught fire, quickly extinguished.
  • Jan. 24 – Culkin Road, apartment, microwave fire, microwave shorted out. No further investigation.
  • Jan. 24 – Fonsylvania Road, structure fire. Undetermined, but most likely accidental.

Fonsyvania Road fire. (Photo by David Day)

  • Jan. 25 – 310 Cain Ridge Road, HVAC, electrical.

Of the 38 fire calls listed above, nine, Lummie, Clay Street, Speed Street, Letitia Street, Washington Street, S. Frontage Road, both MLK fires and the Bowmar fire remain under investigation.

Temperatures plummeted in Vicksburg the first week of January and dropped again the 10th – 12th, the 16th-18th and the 20th – 23rd. It is not unusual for people to seek shelter in empty buildings and attempt to start fires in an effort to stay warm.

Chief Danczyk stated in the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Tuesday morning, your tips may help solve a crime. Crime Stoppers will keep your identity safe if you have information on these fires currently under investigation. 601-355-TIPS (8477). A fire under investigation means just that. It does not necessarily mean foul play is suspected.

FireBoss Briggs offered, “Historically we always see an increase in residential fires this time year. Home heating safety and working smoke alarms are vital during colder weather. County fire still has smoke detectors available upon request at 601-631-8806.” The county stopped installing detectors with the current spike in COVID-19 and hopes to resume installations next week.




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