Palmyra man arrested in connection with Lake fire

Contributed by Judy Fish

The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Palmyra man in connection with the Aug. 23 morning fire near Beach 5 at Lake Monticello.

According to a press release issued Aug. 24, Michael Joseph Taylor, 31, was arrested and charged with violation of a family abuse preliminary protection order while armed with a firearm, breaking and entering to commit arson, and maliciously burn an unoccupied dwelling house. The release said he is currently being held without bail at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.

Firefighters responded to a Lake Monticello house fire Aug. 23 after a neighbor reported seeing smoke. Once on scene the volunteers made entry and extinguished multiple

fires throughout the residence. Based on the fire command’s observations, investigators and deputies from the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to open an investigation into a potential arson, according to the press release. No residents were home at the time of the fire.

“At approximately 8:37 a.m., the Lake Monticello Fire Department, Palmyra Fire Company and Fork Union Fire Company were dispatched to the 700 block of Jefferson Drive for a reported structure fire with visible smoke from the eaves of the structure and fire alarms sounding from inside the residence,” Lake Monticello Fire Chief Richie Constantino said the day of the fire.

Constantino said firefighters used a garden hose as well as a fire hose to douse the flames. “Firefighters entered the residence by the front door and discovered heavy smoke banked down to the floor. Firefighters entered the home to conduct a primary search for any potential victims and to locate the fire.”

“Firefighters held the fire in check with the garden hose, while an attack hose line from Lake Monticello Fire Department Engine 51, was stretched to the rear of the residence,” the chief said, adding that the fire hose immediately extinguished the fire.

A secondary and more methodical search of the structure for potential victims was conducted, confirming that the home was empty, according to Constantino.


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