Cleveland Man Arrested for Reckless Burning

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Cleveland man is behind bars, accused of setting several fires across the area.

Firefighters say these cases are minor, causing little damage, but residents say they’re concerned someone could get hurt in the next blaze.

“I’m just glad he’s in jail now to keep stuff from getting burned around here,” said resident Tim Taylor.

Cleveland residents in the Blythe Oldfield Neighborhood are breathing a sigh of relief, after investigators arrest Larry Evans for reckless burning.

“He obviously has a serial tendency of wanting to go around and set fires, and so I don’t know if he’s doing it for a thrill, or he just likes doing it,” said Fire Marshal Ben Atchley, Cleveland Fire Department.

Atchley tells News 12 this isn’t the first time Evans, who is homeless, has been arrested for setting these “nuisance” fires.

Atchley believes Evans is behind even more blazes, but they’re still working on gathering evidence.

“Soon as he was arrested and incarcerated, the fires ceased, and so you know, that doesn’t prove his guilt or innocence, but it’s coincidence that when he’s incarcerated, the fires don’t happen anymore,” Atchley said.

These fires may involve trash on the side of the road, but residents say they don’t want their homes to be next.

“It makes me real nervous about a lot of the elderly people around here, and the houses are so close together, it could burn three or four before they get it put out,” Taylor said.

Investigators say Evans could later face more charges.

He will face a judge in late October.

Atchley says he wants to remind residents that if they see anything suspicious to contact law enforcement, like what was done in this case.



Categories: Crime, Local News

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