YERKES — Last week, the Hazard Herald reported a fire that damaged part of the roof and building that serves as home to a convenience store, as well as the post office at Yerkes. At the time of publication, the incident was under investigation. However, authorities had not announced suspicion of foul play. This week, surveillance video recorded at the scene during the fire has led to the hunt for an arson suspect.
The black and white video shows a dark-colored vehicle pulling up in front of the Yerkes Post Office. What appears to be a male figure, dressed in a light-colored hoodie, opens the passenger-side door, sets fire to an object, which looks like a rag, and then tosses the flaming object onto the porch of the post office before speeding away.
Fortunately, the Krypton Fire Dept. arrived on the scene in time to prevent complete catastrophe, even though the fire happened deep into the dark hours of morning. According to the firefighters, a man on the scene was already fighting the blaze with water from a hose extending from the building when they showed up to extinguish the fire. The firefighters praised the man as a Good Samaritan because his efforts to contain the flames enabled emergency responders to save the structure. Although repairs are necessary, officials estimate that the Yerkes Post Office will be back to 100 percent functional in its typical location soon. For the time being, Avawam Post Office has helped tend to Yerkes’s mail.
WYMT Television has also released reports about this incident. Surveillance video of the crime is being shared by WYMT and can be found by searching “Yerkes Arson” on YouTube. Anyone with information pertaining to this case can call the Perry County Sheriff’s Dept. at 606-439-4523 or the Kentucky State Police at 606-435-6069. The Hazard Herald will report more details as they become available.
Sam Neace can be contacted at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.