Tobacco Barn Fire In Orlinda Wednesday Under Investigation (Story Updated)
According to Dusty Johnson Sr Chief for the Orlinda Volunteer Fire Department, when they arrived at 8864 Hwy 52 in Orlinda the structure (a tobacco barn) was fully involved. The call came in at 12:19AM. According to a representative from the Jernigan family that owned the barn there was dark fired tobacco in the barn. The family’s conclusion was that it was arson for two reasons, the firing was completed about five days ago and additionally the barn was very wet (due to the weather) so someone really had to put effort into igniting the barn.
The Jernigan’s are also saying that the barn and all of its contents are a total loss.
According to Chief Johnson there was no electricity hooked-up to the barn and it didn’t seem to be in the firing process, so until investigators can thoroughly examine the scene they’re calling the fire suspicious.
Smokey spoke to Chief Johnson Thursday afternoon and he indicated that the fire investigators are backed up and it may be Monday until they can make it out to examine the scene. I asked him if we’re having more barn fires this year, he said not really. “We normally lose about three barns a season”. He also said that he does have a “feeling” on this barn but he’s going to hold back to see what the investigation reveals. He went on to say that it’s problematic determining arson with a tobacco barn due to the process. So unless they find some powerful piece of evidence we may never know.
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