Hanover residents relieved by teenage arson arrest

Posted at 7:01 PM, Aug 20, 2012

HANOVER, Va. (WTVR)--Neighbors in one Hanover community said they’re relieved to hear of the recent arrest of a teenager now charged with setting three fires in their Kings Charter subdivision.

They told CBS 6 News they are still baffled by it all and said their biggest question is, ‘why?’

Expert fire investigator Battalion Chief Willie Jones will tell you there’s no clear answer in this case.

The fires destroyed the community clubhouse and pool area, causing more than a half million dollars in damages. To rebuild, according to the Homeowner’s Association, will take about 6 months.

Why would 18-year-old Jacob Spiro, an honor student with an early acceptance into college risk everything to allegedly set three fires in that community?  Jones said they hope their investigation into his past will yield more clues and answers.

"I don't know if he was mad at the homeowner’s association, or was he trying to get back at someone who liked this facility? Sometimes it’s about vanity. Some arsonists want to be a hero,” added Jones.

Carolyn McCombs has lived in Kings Charter for fifteen years. She said months of not knowing took a toll on many neighbors. Spiro’s arrest brought relief and sorrow.

"It hits me hard because I’m a mom and I have a couple of kids in college right now and one is his age. It has changed his whole life, this senseless act,” said McCombs.

Now she and others are looking forward, ready to rebuild the heart of their community. They’re using this incident as a teachable moment for their own youngsters.

“We’ll talk to our kids and said to them, think about the choices you make and make really good ones,” McCombs explained.

Monday morning in Hanover General District Court, the judge denied bond for Spiro. Prosecutors argued authorities found evidence to suggest that Spiro’s alleged behavior would continue.

He’s due back in court in October.  CBS 6 News will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.