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Investigators search for suspect who tossed Molotov cocktails in Colonial Heights

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 18:11:35-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Federal investigators have gotten involved after two houses in Colonial Heights were fire bombed in the past three days.

On June 28, at approximately 3:30 a.m., a residence in the 2300 block of Franklin Ave in Colonial Heights was struck by two Molotov cocktails. The front storm door received minor damage, but the fire spread to the front yard. A male was observed on video but fled the scene.

Then, on June 30, another residence on Franklin Ave was struck by Molotov cocktails. This time, the rear of the residence was ablaze, and officers had to force entry.

Jeff Martin woke up Wednesday night to a text from his daughter.

"I looked out and seen all the fire trucks and she said she was asleep and she heard a bang at the door and she looked out and she seen the fire everywhere,” Martin said.

A neighbor’s security camera caught the moment the fire spread.

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"The first one hit this door at the bottom, broke out the window at the bottom of the door and we've cleaned it up since them but the door was smoked stained and so was the whole porch right through here was on fire, see where the grass was killed and this is where the worst one was, the bottle was laying there with the rags,” Martin said.

The second one landed in the yard.

"It's pretty scary,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified, to protect her family.

"I heard a big loud sound and I actually looked out the widown that's when we noticed, she had a fire, Jeff and them had a fire in their front yard,” the neighbor said.

Then three days later, just a block down the street another home was hit.

This time the rear of the house was targeted.

The fire was quickly contained. The family was not at home at the time. The family dog was rescued and transported to the emergency veterinary office.

Damage is estimated at about $5,000.

"At this point we're running with the idea that they are connected, somehow, someway,” said Joe Boisseau, Deputy Fire Marshal.

Now night time isn't so restful along this street, with neighbors saying they feel "very cautious, nervous.”

"More on edge, more watchful,” Martin said.

Boisseau said that the ATF is helping the investigation by sharing resources.

If you can provide information about this incident, call Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660or hit us up through the P3 app.