Helena-West Helena officials search for arsonist responsible for fires across the city

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Helena-West Helena, Ark. — Officials in Helena-West Helena are investigating a fire at an abandoned elementary school.

Early Monday morning, fire officials say someone set fire to Woodruff Elementary, which has been closed since 2012. Morris Dixon, a resident, said he is tired of whoever is setting fires in his community. He said the closed school was targeted just two months ago. Now, he is hoping the arsonist is caught.

“And the next thing you know they (are) consuming (alcoholic) beverages and you got fights that break out, and you have shootings and a little of everything,” Dixon said. “They need to be trying to help clean up the community or help some of the elders that don’t have money to pay for clean-up. But what they do, is they decide that for whatever reason they want to torch something. They want to do destructive damage.”

Suspicious fires are an almost daily occurrence for Helena-West Helena firefighters. It is not hard to find the burned-out shell of a home on many streets in town. The mayor has been working to demolish as many abandoned homes as quickly as possible before they get torched.

At this time no one is in custody for the latest fire in the city.

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