JACKSON, Miss. — Authorities in Mississippi’s capital city are on the hunt for a suspected arsonist who set several fires early Tuesday morning on and near the campus of Jackson State University, a historically Black public college.
News outlets reported at least seven overnight fires were confirmed by officials. At least two of the buildings set ablaze were churches. Another one of the fires broke out on Jackson State University’s baseball field.
“I’ve been here for 30 years. This is a major occurrence,” Patrick Armon, assistant fire chief for the Jackson Fire Department, told WAPT-TV. “This is not something we normally go to. We have about a third of our department on sites.” No injuries were reported. Authorities are searching for one suspect, according to Armon and the Jackson Police Department. They did not provide the person’s name or a suspected motivation behind the fires.
Officials started to receive calls about several fires starting around 2:45 a.m. Officials said six of the seven fires were put out by 6 a.m. One church burned for more than four hours before the fire was extinguished.
With an election Tuesday morning, no polling places were reported to have been impacted by the fires.