BY MELANIE BUCK –
A string of structure fires over the weekend in the Rich Mountain community have led Polk County officers to believe foul play is at hand. Polk County Sheriff Deputy Scott Sawyer said the fires had been, “all deemed suspicious.”
The first call came in around 4 p.m. Friday, February 20, reporting a small structure, possibly a storage shed, on fire near Eagleton. The structure was a complete loss.
The next day, Saturday, February 21, around 7:30 a.m., another call was received stating an RV sitting on the side of Hwy. 270 West, between Eagleton and Rich Mountain, was on fire.
Approximately two hours later, a third call was received, reporting a vacant cabin, just passed Rich Mountain Store on Hwy. 270, was on fire as well. According to Steve Watson, owner of Rich Mountain Store, this cabin was the “old Little house place ½ mile west of the 270/272 junction.”
A fourth fire was reported in Page, Oklahoma, just across the state line from the Rich Mountain community. The store, formally named Hillbilly Junction, was reported at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The store sits at the junction of Hwy. 270 and Hwy. 259.
Deputy Sawyer said Polk County law enforcement has been in contact with the Oklahoma State Fire Marshall in connection with the fires and will be cooperating with that office.
“Right now, we are following several leads but no suspects have been named and no arrests have been made. We do have several tips and leads that we are following up on,” said Sawyer.