A spree of unexplained fires has had Luray on edge since October.
One by one, downtown buildings were being torched and for the longest time, no suspects were named. Now, with the arrest of 40-year-old "Eddie" Edgar J. Poole, Luray Police Chief Page Campbell said everyone could sleep better at night.
"It's a sigh of relief for me as police chief and also for everyone who lives in and around this area," Campbell said.
Campbell says Poole is linked to the fires at the Campbell Street apartments and the Mick or Mack building. Eight other suspicious fires in the downtown area are still under investigation. But police say Poole is a strong suspect in those arsons, as well.
The last fire happened at the home and business of Jimmy Whiteside.
"I'm just glad to be alive and my wife too and we were awfully lucky to come out of a mess like this," Whiteside said.
Whiteside's barbershop sits on Main Street facing the alley where Poole lived. Whiteside and other arson victims said they knew Poole and were surprised to hear of his possible involvement in the case.
"I have heard and we suspect that he is mentally challenged," said Chief Campbell.
Some say he couldn't possibly have set all the fires on his own. But police say special investigators have had their eye on Poole for months.
"We have had this subject under surveillance and investigation for some time," Chief Campbell admitted.
Poole will be arraigned Feb. 27.
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Source: www.usfa.fema.gov contributed to this report