3 arrested after 16-month investigation into arson at Colonial Beach Elementary School

COLONIAL BEACH, Va. (WRIC) – It’s been nearly 16 months since a Colonial Beach elementary school went up in flames. On Tuesday, officials arrested three people accused of starting the blaze.

Thomas Peery, Parrish Muse and Carlos Bermudez are all accused of arson. Bermudez now faces two charges, he’s out of jail on bond.

Peery and Muse will stay locked up at the Northern Neck Regional Jail until their next court date. Both men each have four charges connecting them to this massive fire at a building where so many people at one point in their lives attended school.

“It was a big loss for the community and I understand they just now caught the people, three of them, and I think the community really came together for that,” says Larry Crawford, a resident of Colonial Beach.

Police say they were able to charge these three men because of the overwhelming number of tips from the community.

“The fire was probably 20 to 30 feet in the air, fully involved,” recalls Larry Jones, a firefighter who worked during the blaze.

It’s not good in any community, but there is a lot of people here in Colonial Beach who went to this school and they didn’t want that school to be burned up like that,” Jones told 8news anchor Ava-joye Burnett.

The next stage for these men will be a court appearance where the judge is expected to set a trial date.

Stay with 8News for updates. 

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