• 73°

Investigators still looking into what started Salisbury Millwork fire

SALISBURY — A day after Salisbury businessman Thomas Miller Cohen was charged and accused of setting fire to a local business, Salisbury fire investigators say they are continuing to look into what may have been used to set fire to the site of Salisbury Millwork.

Cohen, 60, of the 2000 block of Webb Road, was charged on Sunday with felony breaking and entering, felony burning other buildings, and felony larceny after breaking and entering. Salisbury Police brought the charges against Cohen hours after the fire but haven’t said what led them to identify Cohen.

Police Capt. Melonie Thompson said there were several vehicles in the parking lot with broken windows and body damage.

Cohen, president of J. Newton Cohen Heating and Air Conditioning, is the son of longtime Rowan County commissioner and Chairman J. Newton Cohen. The Rowan County Administrative Building is named after the late county leader.

Arrest warrants say Cohen stole a “computer CPU” valued at $1,000 that belonged to Bobby Clay Lindsay Jr. and “did willfully and maliciously burn a building within the curtilage of another.”

The fire was set sometime around 2:26 a.m. and discovered at 3:12 a.m., according to police reports and fire personnel.

Salisbury Fire Marshal Terry Smith said the fire was intentionally set but they are working to determine what was used to set it. The fire began in what was the tool room located behind a front office, Smith said.

He said investigators still have interviews to conduct and surveillance video to look through. They also will look at any available surveillance video at neighboring businesses.

County tax records show the building, located at 823 Corporate Circle, is owned by Clear Choice Investments. Bobby Clay Lindsay Jr., who owns Salisbury Millwork, occupies a suite in the front portion of the building that is next to Virginia Air.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to just Salisbury Millwork. There were several other fire departments that responded. No injuries were reported and the fire was extinguished within about two hours.

Cohen is expected to make a first appearance in court today.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Education

Back to School: Calendars

Education

Back to School: Getting to know local schools

Education

Back to School: A message from RSS Superintendent Lynn Moody

Education

Q&A with Summit Academy Principal Amy Pruitt

Education

Lessons for the fall from a spring of remote preschool

Back to school

Back to School: Basic supplies needed

Back to school

Back to School: School bus safety

Education

Back to School: New COVID-19 precautions will be in place across the district

Local

City lifts moratorium on utility disconnections; will continue to explore options for outstanding debt

East Spencer

‘This is our lifeline:’ East Spencer officials ask Salisbury for water billing credit to aid in economic development

Coronavirus

Autumn Care becomes newest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools asking parents to find alternatives to school buses

Local

Salisbury license plate office sets record straight on long lines

Business

Utility cutoffs could begin this month in Landis

Crime

Man held in contempt of court for not wearing mask, disruption

Local

Business, assembly, mask mandates extended longer in NC

Education

Education briefs

Education

Education shoutouts

Crime

Police: Woman reports car stolen with keys in the ignition

Local

Former Editor Cook to lead special gifts for 2020 United Way campaign

Crime

Vandals spraypaint wall at Salisbury National Cemetery

Local

State responds to plea for transportation museum’s reopening

Education

NC wins federal grant to improve instruction during school disruptions

Coronavirus

Recoveries rise in addition to 29 new positives