HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) are looking into a series of fires described as “arson cases” by the sheriff’s office.
The HCSO posted to its Facebook page Monday, stating both agencies were investigating the arson cases that occurred in the Stanley Valley and Clinch Valley areas.
The HCSO provided News Channel 11 with reports from the fires in question, all of which occurred on the night of Feb. 28.
According to the reports, the HCSO responded to the first fire on Caney Valley Loop in Surgoinsville around 10:05 p.m. Authorities had been called to a barn fire at the location.
The owner of the barn and the equipment inside said there was no electricity to the barn, prompting confusion as to how it could have caught fire. The owner did not know of any suspect, according to the HCSO.
The owner of the barn, Scott Hamilton, kept food and equipment he used to keep up his livestock in the ash pile that was his barn.
“Well, I’m going to have to replace all that,” said Hamilton. “And luckily, I’ve got other barns with hay that it won’t hurt me this year, but it could affect me for next year.”
Roughly a half hour later, the HCSO was called to a mobile home fire on Dry Gap in Surgoinsville. A report states fire crews had been driving by and saw the blaze. When investigators arrived, the mobile home was “completely burnt,” according to the report.
At the time of the report, no property owner of the home could be found to speak with investigators.
The final report details a barn fire that the HCSO responded to around 11 p.m. on Allen Road in Rogersville. Investigators spoke with the owner of the barn who informed them there were 25 large bales of hay inside.
Phil Barrett said his son used his trailer that was being stored in that barn to remove the hay.
“He moved the hay out of the barn across the road which you can see where [the hay] set over there and burnt up,” said Barrett. “And saved the barn.”
Following the third fire, the HCSO report states a detective was notified due to the series of fires all being set within an hour of each other.
Both Hamilton and Barrett hope authorities find the person responsible.
“I hope they catch him,” said Barrett. “I hope they catch him, them, whoever. It shouldn’t happen.”
“I’d like to see them get caught and prosecuted for it,” said Hamilton.