Officials investigating claim that Balls Creek Fire was result of animosity between high schools


Pictured above: Fire caused significant damage at the historic Balls Creek Campground in Catawba County Sunday – Picture courtesy of Catawba County Emergency Management via Twtitter (@CatCoEM)



NEWTON, NC – The joint task force of local, state and federal authorities, including Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and United States Department of Justice – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), continue to investigate the fire at the Balls Creek Campground in Catawba that occurred on Sunday, September 29, 2019.

As a normal part of the investigative process, a search warrant was obtained by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office that included information regarding a rumor that the task force needed to investigate.

According to task force investigators, it is a belief in the Bandys and Maiden communities that the fire may have been intentionally set as a retaliative measure related to animosity between students at Bandys High School and Maiden High School. The task force is investigating this allegation, which as of the time of this release, has neither been corroborated nor refuted.

The public is cautioned that this allegation is only one piece of the broader investigation which has many facets.
As stated previously, the task force considers this fire to be suspicious and the cause is currently undetermined. Anyone with information related to this criminal investigation should call the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 464-5241.

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