At approximately 12:41 p.m. on Monday, November 27, the Salem Police Department along with Salem Fire & EMS, responded to the 1700 block of East Main Street in reference to a call of a structure fire.
Upon arrival, officers observed a white male subject fleeing the 7-Eleven store on foot. Store employees told the officers that the male, identified as Jackie Vasher, 33, of Roanoke, entered the store and began pouring gasoline from a container onto the floor near the counter. Vasher then ignited the gasoline and exited the building. All five employees were able to exit the building, and no one was injured. No customers were inside the store at the time of the fire.
Salem Police Officers pursued Vasher on foot and took him into custody a short distance from the store. Vasher has been charged with five counts of Attempted Malicious Injury by Fire and one count of Arson. Currently, he is being held at the Roanoke County/Salem Jail without bond.
The incident is still under investigation and detectives are still trying to determine a motive for starting the fire.
-Submitted by Mike Stevens, City of Salem Communications Director