Salem City news release: This afternoon, at approximately 12:41 p.m., the Salem Police Department along with Salem Fire & EMS, responded to the 1700 block of East Main Street in reference to a call of a structure fire. Upon arrival, officers observed a white male subject fleeing the 7-Eleven store on foot. Store employees told the officers thatthe male, identified as Jackie Vasher, 33, of Roanoke, entered the store and began pouring gasoline from a container onto the floor near the counter. Vasher then ignited the gasoline and exited the building. All five employees were able to exit the building and no one injured. No customers were inside the store at the time of the fire. Salem Police Officers pursued Vasher on foot and took him into custody a short distance from the store. Vasher has been charged with five counts of Attempted Malicious Injury by Fire and one count of Arson. Currently, he is being held at the Roanoke County/Salem Jail without bond. The incident is still under investigation and detectives are still trying to determine a motive for starting the fire.
Previous: The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to a structure fire today at the 7-Eleven/Liberty Gas Station, 1715 East Main St., at approximately 12:41 p.m. All of the people in the store were able to escape without injury, but the fire caused significant damage to the building and its contents. The first unit arrived within three minutes of receiving the call and found heavy fire and smoke coming from the front of the building. Due to the type of structure and the amount of fire, the Roanoke Fire & EMS Department also responded. It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control. Approximately 30 personnel from the Salem Fire & EMS Department (Truck 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, Medic 802, Medic 803, Battalion 1 & Fire Medic 1), Roanoke Fire & EMS Department (Engine 4, Engine 5, Ladder 5, Medic 5 & Battalion 2) responded to the call. The Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department (Engine 3) provided assistance covering additional calls. The Salem Fire Marshal’s Office and Salem Police Department are still investigating the fire and there is no damage estimate at this time.