Police and state fire marshals are investigating an arson that happened early Monday morning.


Police and state fire marshals are investigating an arson that happened early Monday morning.

Wilson Police Chief Felix Hernandez said a meter-reader truck owned by the Wilson Water Department was destroyed when it caught fire behind City Hall around 12:42 a.m. Monday. He said state fire officials confirmed the fire was set intentionally.

The 1986 Chevrolet pickup was parked in the city garage when it burned, filling City Hall with smoke.

Hernandez said the city’s dispatcher was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, and was later taken to Healdton Municipal Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Hernandez said the fire was spotted by a passing reserve officer.

“If he hadn’t caught it in time, it would have took the building,” he said.

He said carpets in the building will have to be replaced because of smoke damage, and the air conditioning ventilation will have to be cleaned, as well.

He also said that around the same time the tires of cars belonging to Wilson police officers were slashed, including one police cruiser and two private vehicles. Hernandez said the slashings are likely related to the fire.

Two “persons of interest” have been interviewed, and OSBI will be administering polygraph tests to one of them next week, he said. The investigation is ongoing.

Phil Banker, 221-6542