Asheville Fire Department: Richmond Hill blaze was arson

Asheville Fire Department: Richmond Hill blaze was arson-attachment0

The fire that destroyed the historic Richmond Hill Inn early Thursday was intentionally set, according to a release from the Asheville Fire Department. There is no suspect at this time.

“The Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force has identified enough physical evidence at the Richmond Hill Inn to determine the cause of the fire to be intentionally set,” the release reads. “Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force Director Buddy Thompson has been thoroughly processing the scene since early Thursday morning and is being assisted by agents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.”

The building had been renovated in 1989, then suffered extensive fire damage from a 1995 arson before being repaired again. The property was reportedly in foreclosure and due to be sold on the courthouse steps on April 15, with the current owner, William Gray, owing approximately $6.8 million.

“Intentionally set fires cannot be tolerated in our community and we will be diligently working with District Attorney Ron Moore’s Office with all of our resources to determine who set this fire and bring appropriate criminal charges against the person or persons that are responsible,” Fire Chief Greg Grayson is quoted as saying in the release.

Anyone with information about the arson is encouraged to call Crimestoppers at 255-5050.

The full release is below.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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Richmond Hill Inn Structure Fire – UPDATE

Asheville firefighters worked diligently through the early morning hours yesterday to control the huge fire at the Richmond Hill Inn Mansion house and protect the surrounding buildings.  Firefighters have now completed the fire suppression activities.  Since the fire was reported, investigators have been working constantly to determine the cause of the fire.  The Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force has identified enough physical evidence at the Richmond Hill Inn to determine the cause of the fire to be intentionally set.  Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force Director Buddy Thompson has been thoroughly processing the scene since early Thursday morning and is being assisted by agents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Asheville Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Grayson said, “Intentionally set fires cannot be tolerated in our community and we will be diligently working with District Attorney Ron Moore’s Office with all of our resources to determine who set this fire and bring appropriate criminal charges against the person or persons that are responsible.”  Please contact Asheville Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Kelley Webb at (828)768-1437 for further information. Anyone with additional information related to this fire should immediately contact Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050.

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6 thoughts on “Asheville Fire Department: Richmond Hill blaze was arson

  1. Col. Mustard

    The Butler did it!!! …in the solarium with the candlestick…..

  2. LOKEL

    I do not understand why the “arson story” hasn’t received more press in this town.

    There have been 40 fires attributed to arson in Buncombe County so far this year!

    That’s almost 2 times the number or arsons in Coatesville, PA and that story is national news!

  3. WestAVLMama

    Didn’t you post the same thing over on topix? It’s 40 investigations, just cause they investigate doesn’t mean it’s arson.

  4. Matt Howard

    Juicy crime stories never get heavy press in this town. The powers that be try hard to keep the news tourist friendly.

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