City man faces arson charge

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 28, 2002

A Brookhaven man faces an arson charge after allegedly makingtwo attempts to burn down an occupied trailer this weekend,authorities said.

Ronnie Thompson, 41, 29 Jones Trailer Park, is being held in theLincoln County Jail awaiting an arraignment Tuesday on the charge,according to Police Det. Roger L. Wilson.

“This all stems from a boyfriend/girlfriend falling out,” Wilsonsaid.

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Police were notified around 11 p.m. Saturday of a fire at JonesTrailer Park on Gleason Loop. The occupants had smelled smoke, wentoutside and saw the fire. They also saw the suspect running awayand called the police department.

“The officers arrived and someone had poured gasoline over atire, lit it and set it up underneath the trailer. The officers putit out with a fire extinguisher,” Wilson said.

Sergeant Scott Brister and Officer Ricky Hemphill are to becommended for their quick action, Wilson said.

“If it hadn’t been for them, that trailer probably would haveburned down. Five minutes later would have been too late,” Wilsonsaid.

The second attempt on the trailer occurred the next morning. Theoccupants awoke around 7 a.m. and again smelled smoke. They calledthe fire and police departments.

The fire department put out the blaze, which had spread acrossthe entire underside of the trailer. Further investigation revealedthe insulation had caught fire and was burning.

“There were three places where gasoline had been poured andset,” Wilson said.

The trailer received only minor damage.

Thompson was arrested at the scene during the second response,Wilson said. He lives in a nearby trailer and had come out to watchthe activity.

The incident is still under investigation.