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A Wilson woman faces arson charges in connection to a Tuesday house fire and two other fires that occurred in the past three weeks.
Authorities arrested 35-year-old Ashley D. Ballance and charged her with three counts of second-degree arson, according to the Wilson Police Department. The arson charges include two fires reported on Dec. 7 and Nov. 18 on Woodard Avenue Southeast. Those structures were also vacant at the time the fires occurred, officials said.
At the time of Ballance’s arrest Thursday, she was wanted by the N.C. Department of Correction for a probation violation, according to Sgt. Steve Stroud.
Ballance received a $200,000 secured bond for the arson charges and is being held without bond for the probation violation, Stroud said.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Campbell of Wilson Fire/Rescue Services said all three fires are still under investigation.
“Wilson Fire/Rescue Services and the Wilson Police Department are jointly working on the investigation of these fires,” Campbell said. He added that the agency is grateful to all others who have assisted with the response and ongoing investigations.
On Tuesday, firefighters responded to a call at a vacant home located at 805 Black Creek Road SE. Smoke billowed from the windows and eaves of the home, officials said.
“The responding units made an aggressive attack on a well-advanced fire to gain quick control,” Campbell said. Crews worked the scene for roughly five hours. No injures were reported and no one was inside the home when the fire began, officials said.
Due to the extent of the fire damage, Campbell said city of Wilson crews demolished the home.
On Dec. 7, firefighters responded to a 10:50 a.m. fire at a vacant home located at 1006 Woodard Ave. SE. Nearly 20 personnel responded to the fire. Campbell said scene crews found smoke coming from the roof and gable ends of the building. Crews also found fire in the middle of the bedroom on the left side of the duplex.
He said the fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. Crews worked that scene for nearly three hours.
On Nov. 18, firefighters responded to a 1:27 p.m. fire at a vacant home located at 1100 Woodard Ave. SE. Twenty personnel responded to the blaze that was showing from all sides of the structure, fire officials said. That fire was also quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. Crews cleared that scene in less than two hours.
Police ask anyone with information regarding these cases to contact the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.