Arrests made in building fire
Jason Cannon FCT Publisher
Two men were arrested Thursday night and charged in connection with a fire that destroyed a Russellville warehouse last month.
Donnie Ray Hampton and Jason Miller were charged with arson second degree, burglary third degree and theft of property first degree following a nearly three week investigation of a fire at a storage facility on Highway 43.
According to Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett, the pair burglarized the building before setting it ablaze hoping the flames would disguise their crime.
"Basically, the fire was used as a cover up," he said.
True Value Hardware used the building for storage and Hargett said several items that were taken from the building have already been recovered.
Russellville Fire Marshal Bobby Malone spent much of the last three weeks on the scene of the blaze, and quickly ruled the fire as suspicious.
Malone and the state fire marshal's suspicions were validated with the arrests, as the fire was officially ruled arson.
More arrests are possible as the investigation continues Hargett said, adding he anticipates federal charges to also be filed against Hampton and Miller.
"The federal charges will stem from arson and conspiracy," he said.
The estimated damage and loss to the building was estimated at more than $1 million.