A bunch, and a lot of college-aged people, are being prosecuted for arson in a small town in the northeast corner of the state.
It’s called the “Flood of the Century” and the victims include two teenagers who live in the town of Greenfield.
The townspeople, who say they were unaware of the charges, are angry.
“This is not something that happens to the rest of the world,” said townspeaker Don Burden.
“People don’t think this happens here.”
The town, located in the central part of the Appalachian Mountains, is one of the smallest in the state, just under 300 residents.
The fire that destroyed their home in May 2017 started at the house of a friend’s family.
“The fire was going really fast, and it was hot and it had no smoke,” said resident Kevin McFarland.
The house was set on fire with a brush, then a hose was used to douse the flames.
“You don’t want to be in there with a flame,” said Burden, who had been staying in the home the night of the fire.
“I was scared, and I was really scared to go out and look at the fire.”
It took firefighters about three hours to put out the fire, and they were able to get to the scene after about 30 minutes.
The victims’ mother, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told WKMG-TV that the family has been in the house “about eight years,” and they lived there for almost four of those years.
She said the house was the only one in the neighborhood that had a garage, and that the fire was caused by a water hose.
The family is in the process of suing the people who built the house, and the county will also be seeking damages.
“There’s a lot going on with the criminal justice system right now in Appalachia, and these people who do this are breaking the law,” said McFarion.
“These people are responsible for what’s going on in our community.”
In a letter to the Greenfield Fire Marshal, the townspeaks for themselves, saying, “The only thing you need to know is that we have been through this before.
The last one we lost was our house.
We are a small community with a lot to lose.”
In the letter, the community’s mayor said that, in the wake of the wildfire, the county was working with the sheriff’s office to bring charges against people responsible for the fire that devastated their home.
“We will be contacting these people and getting a hold of them,” said the mayor, who is also the executive director of the town’s fire department.
“If they do this again, they’re going to be charged with arson, and we’re going.
If they do that again, we’re not going to.”
Greenfield is just one of a number of communities across the Appalachian region that have been plagued by arson.
The fires that caused the deaths of five people in Georgia and an unknown number of others in Tennessee have been blamed on arsonists, although the authorities have been unable to determine who is responsible.
“That’s the problem,” said Bill Johnson, executive director for the Southern Appalachian Community Foundation, which advocates for the recovery of communities ravaged by the fires.
“They don’t have the resources to pursue the people responsible.”