Arson a growing problem

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 17, 2002

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Arsons have become all too familiar in Selma, says Selma Fire Chief Henry Allen.

Allen called arsons &uot;a serious problem&uot; that is often very difficult to solve.

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Allen said fires have hit churches, businesses as well as vacant houses in the area in recent months, which has caused business owners as well as others to feel the impact.

For Huey Capps, who owned the Selmont Beauty and Barber Shop, which recently burned down due to arson, the experience was &uot;pretty sad.&uot;

The business, which had stood in Selma for the past 50 years, was a business that Capps said he enjoyed owning, a business that, he said, many people in area became familiar with.

Asked what he felt should be the punishment for the crime, Capps said he &uot;wasn’t sure.&uot;

The Rev. Timothy Stromas, pastor of the Sandridge Baptist Church on Kings Bend Road, which also burned to the ground because of arson, said he was trying to rebuild his church, a task that he said has not been easy.

Stromas said he hoped those responsible for the arson would be caught, and that &uot;God would teach compassion in their hearts so they would admit it.&uot;

Stromas said he was still trying to raise money for the new church to help them recuperate.