Man charged with attempting to set fire to his own house

John Thompson • Mar 11, 2016 at 10:53 PM

A county man was arrested Wednesday evening on a charge of setting fire to his own house.

Justin McClemons, 26, 112 Hickory Hollow Road, was charged with arson — burning personal property or land, and disorderly conduct.

The incident began when Sgt. David Caldwell and Deputy Christian Carrier of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and Constable Tim Lyons responded to McClemons’ residence on a possible structure fire around 11 p.m.

When the officers arrived, they found McClemons standing outside his residence saying his house was on fire. They also said he told them he was the only person in the residence and he woke up and discovered the fire.

Although smoke was visible, the officers could see no fire. Upon entry into McClemons’ house, they reported finding a piece of notebook paper sticking out of a hole in the bathroom wall. The notebook paper was burning on the end sticking out of the wall. The officers knocked the paper out of the wall as the Hampton Volunteer Fire Department was arriving on the scene.

The firefighters opened the wall and exposed a can of carburetor cleaner, a can of spray paint, more notebook paper and a roll of paper towels that appear to have been set on fire, causing a large amount of smoke.

The officers also saw a stack of notebook paper on the kitchen counter and paper towels that matched those inside the wall.

The officers said McClemmons was intoxicated and became “very hostile” toward them when they were discussing the fire.

McClemmons appeared in Sessions Court on Friday. He was appointed a public defender and his next court appearance was set for March 15. His bond was reduced to $1,000.