Police and fire officials are seeking tips in last month’s rash of arsons in the Rosewood neighborhood. However, they say there’s not enough evidence to link those cases to Sunday’s fatal apartment fire.
The blaze at Plantation Court Apartments on South Saluda Avenue killed 80-year-old resident True Dent Henderson. Officials told The State newspaper Monday that the fire was deemed suspicious and that it’s possible it was intentionally set.
The Columbia Fire Department acknowledged Tuesday that there had been a rash of small arsons in the Rosewood area not far from Plantation Court. Those fires were reported between late November and mid-December.
“At this point in the fatal fire investigation and the previous incidents, investigators do not have credible evidence to link them,” Capt. Brick Lewis said.
Fire Marshal George Adams said Sunday’s fatal fire began in a stairwell of the apartment building just inside the back door. The fire department in December responded to a smaller fire at Plantation Court that Adams said began in a stairwell of another building. An investigation determined that fire was intentionally set.
Adams has requested assistance from the Columbia Police Department and the State Law Enforcement Division.
Anyone with information about the arson cases is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or text “TIPS” and their message to 274637. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.