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Suspicious fires, vandalism probed

August 25, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Suspicious fires and other vandalism, including damage to railroads and an office owned by a state senator, have occurred here in the last several weeks, officials said.

Last week, some type of incendiary device was tossed onto a railroad bridge in the town, said Wesley Poole, special agent with the Norfolk and Southern railroad police.

The device was thrown on the tracks just before a train arrived, Poole said. The train's crew stopped a short distance up the track after the incident, but noticed no damage, he said. The bridge sustained minor fire damage, Poole said.

On the weekend of Aug. 8, someone slid a lighted piece of paper through a mail slot at the office of Hydrochem Laboratories, which is operated by State Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, according to West Virginia State Police Trooper Aaron Zaltsman.

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The paper burned a small section of the floor of Snyder's office at the corner of W.Va. 18 and First Street, he said.

Snyder said that in recent weeks, about seven fires have been set, damaging newspaper boxes, dumpsters and other property.

"The community is just not going to stand for it. We're really lucky they haven't burned someone's house down," Snyder said.

Other vandalism incidents have included placing debris on the railroad bridge, said Zaltzman, who is investigating the incidents.

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