CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After a seven-month investigation, a 25-year-old man who was previously convicted of intentionally setting two fires in Prince George County has now been charged with arson in connection with a June 2019 house fire in Chesterfield County.
No one was injured in the blaze last June on Singer Road, though the home’s roof suffered significant damage.
The Chesterfield County Fire Marshal’s Office and Police Department said Friday they believe 25-year-old David Elton Starke, of Prince George County, ‘deliberately’ set the home on fire on June 14. It took crews more than an hour to mark the blaze under control.
Starke has been charged with one count of arson to an occupied dwelling and breaking and entering with intent to commit arson. He’s being held at Riverside Regional Jail, pending a court appearance.
In December, Starke was convicted of intentionally setting two fires in Prince George County — one at the Touchstone Bank on Crossings Boulevard and another at Bailey’s Ridge Apartments on Bailey’s Ridge Road — that occurred in July.
Relief has washed over over one Chesterfield neighborhood following the news that Starke is now in police custody.
Michael Tuck of Singer Road remembers the scene of smoke coming one Chesterfield home in June 2019. He told 8News he would have never guessed the fire was set deliberately.
“I was just floored, I was flabbergasted because all the rumors had it that it was an electric overload on the power strip and then to hear that arson it was just farthest from our mind on it,” he said.
The property is vacant after neighbors told 8News the owners tore down the home a few weeks ago.
“Just like any of us would be, he’s just glad no one’s hurt, nobody was injured. But I’m sure as far as catching the guy, I’m sure it’s a big relief there.”
Starke is awaiting sentencing in March for the June house fire in Chesterfield County.
“Definitely is a relief yeah cause you don’t want no criminal no matter what he’s done to be out on the street,” Tuck added. “I hope he can figure out in his mind what’s going on up there to want to destroy somebody’s lives and destroy their homes on it.”
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