ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - WAVY.com has learned State Police spent more than $300,000 in the search for the Eastern Shore arsonists, arrested earlier last month.
Officials said Tonya Bundick and Charles Smith are responsible for setting 77 fires.
Volunteer firefighters, like Jeff Pitts, chief of the Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Department, spent countless hours responding to the fires, often overnight.
"You might be taking your wife and kids to dinner, and now you don't do that because you're afraid a call might come in, and you will not be able to make it," Pitts said.
"I think it is a fair statement everyone was tired of it." Onancock Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Truitt said.
Smith, himself a former firefighter with the Tasley Volunteer Fire Company, admitted to setting 52 fires and told officers Bundick set 15.
The following is a breakdown of how much the arsons cost Virginia State Police between Dec. 1 and April 13:
- $113,000 Lodging
- $67,000 Meals
- $86,672 Fuel
- $38,000 in Aviation expenses
- Total: $304,746
"It's not easy... proving arson is very complicated," Greg Lewis with the Accomack County Department of Public Safety said.
Here are the final State Police hours spent working the arsons:
- 26,378 regular work hours
- 2,731 comp hours
- 12,194 overtime
- Total hours: 41,303
The Wachapreague station put in 447 hours responding to 23 of the 77 fires, a huge disruption of the firefighters' lives.
Tune in to WAVY News 10 at 6 p.m. Thursday for Andy Fox's special report on the Eastern Shore arsons.
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