Monday, June 24, 2024

Rocky Point man held on $2 million bond for allegedly setting Atkinson residence on fire

Hector Zapata, 51, was arrested in connection to a fire in Atkinson over the weekend. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy PCSO)

ATKINSON — After county law enforcement officials determined an Atkinson fire was caused by arson, Hector Zapata of Rocky Point was arrested and booked into Pender County Jail under a $2 million bond.

Atkinson Fire Department officials responded to a call Sunday morning, at approximately 7:16 a.m., in reference to a structure fire at 207 S. Alderman Street in Atkinson, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). Atkinson is located about 15 miles west of Burgaw, the county seat, and 17 miles northwest of Rocky Point.

“The occupants of the residence were able to escape without injury and the Atkinson Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire,” according to PCSO spokesman Captain James Rowell.

A joint investigation by the PCSO and the Pender County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was a result of arson, and arrested Zapata based on information gathered during the investigation.

Zapata was arrested at his residence without incident and charged with first-degree arson — a Class D felony that is punishable by three to 13 years in prison — and breaking and entering. Zapata’s first appearance at Pender County Court is set for Monday.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the PCSO, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.

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