Building Set on Fire for Second Time

On Tuesday, 4/19/2022, a structure fire was reported in the 200 block of North Oates Street.  This is the second time within a month this building has caught fire.  The first fire occurred on 3/28/2022.  The property is vacant and currently being remolded.  At the time of the fire Tuesday, officers in the area arrived on scene quickly and located a suspicious person on the property covered in soot.  Dothan Fire Department personnel arrived and extinguished the blaze.  The individual detained was identified as 33 year-old Joe Edward Thomas.  Thomas has had two previous encounters with police at this property and had been given a trespass warning on 01/26/2022, and then arrested for trespassing on 04/08/2022.  Thomas provided his address as homeless.

The investigation into Tuesday’s fire revealed Thomas was in possession of copper that had been removed from an air-conditioning unit in the room where the fire was located and observed leaving the room at the time the fire started by a witness to the events. Thomas was arrested and charged with Arson Second Degree for Tuesday’s fire.  His bond was set at $30,000.00.  A specific motive for setting the fire is currently unknown.

Joe Edward Thomas – Arson Second Degree


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