UPDATE: 4:00 p.m.: At the press conference from the Bedford Police Department, crews confirmed that the walls of the structure have been secured and that crews were sent inside of the old Bedford Middle School.
A K-9 unit from the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office was sent in the structure to search for accelerant, which the K-9 unit confirmed to be found, which also confirms that this is an active arson case.
There are nearly 100 tips received regarding who may have started the fire.
“We will follow all leads and we will find this person,” said a representative from Bedford Police.
There were no specifics regarding the type of accelerant that was found. Officials said the K-9 alerts its handler when any type of accelerant is found, but it has not been determined what specific type of accelerant was found.
UPDATE: 3:20 p.m.: Bedford Police have announced they will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. relating to yesterday’s fire at the old Bedford Middle School.
WFXR News will live-stream that press conference.
BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — Bedford Police Chief F. Todd Foreman said the department has received several leads on potential suspects for the fire intentionally set at the old Bedford Middle School.
WFXR first reported the fire at the former middle school just before 4 a.m. on Thursday. Portions of the roof collapsed, which made it dangerous for firefighters to extinguish the fire safely, according to Bedford Fire Chief L. Brad Creasy.
The police department released pictures on Thursday afternoon from surveillance cameras installed inside and outside the building.
Fire crews returned to the scene early Friday morning as pockets of fire rekindled.
Investigator George with the Bedford County Fire Marshal’s Office told WFXR that efforts are focused on securing the wall of the building with beams to allow for investigators to enter the building safely. Investigators want to identify the point of origin where the fire started and collect evidence.
Correction: The Chief of Police is F. Todd Foreman.
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