Someone is targeting Cotton Plant’s police and firefighters, setting fires to their homes and vandalizing their vehicles since February, according to officials in the Woodruff County town.

The latest suspicious fire occurred Sunday and destroyed the Vine Street home that Fire Chief Jason Johnston recently bought for his mother after his father passed away. Debbie Johnston had yet to move into the home, but boxes of old photographs, memorabilia and papers were destroyed, the fire chief said.

“I was numb,” Jason Johnston said of how he felt when he and other volunteer firefighters responded to the blaze. “I was hurt. When I saw it I thought, ‘Here we go again.’ I called for mutual aid to put the fire out. I was too sick to fight it myself.”

In early February, fire destroyed the rental house of a female firefighter on Rush Street. Later that month, a second fire razed an abandoned house on McMurtry Street.

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