A suspicious fire discovered Monday in the Blackmon’s Crossroads community does not appear to be connected to about two dozen unsolved fires in the same area between 2004 and 2007.
Around 4:48am, a fire was discovered on Sandy Road outside of Four Oaks. Approximately 38 hay bales had been set on fire in a field. An additional two bales had been placed in the roadway and torched.
The fire occurred in the same area in southern Johnston County where multiple grass, field, and hay bale fires were reported between 2004 and 2007, including 8 fires set in five days.
In 2007, fire crews responded to four fires in one day and discovered other still unreported fires had been set in the same areas and had to extinguish those before they caused any damage to homes or other property.
Between April and July 2004, five suspicious fire were set within a one mile radius of the Blackmon’s Crossroads area including two in the same night. Three of the fires were set in hay fields, including one blaze on July 20, 2004 that burned 13 bales at a farm owned by C.P. Thompson on Strickland’s Crossroads Road. No arrests were even made in any of the incidents.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Monday’s fire on Sandy Road but officials said it doesn’t appear to be linked to the earlier arson cases. The Johnston County Fire Marshal’s Office said the fires do not appear to have originated from natural causes. The NC DOT was notified to inspect the damage the fire caused to the roadway.