Man charged with setting wife's house afire

Man charged with setting wife's house afire

May 23rd, 2009 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

A Chattanooga man is charged with domestic violence and arson in connection with a fire at his estranged wife's home, according to a Chattanooga Fire Department news release.

Crystal Pankey and her three children are safe, department spokesman Bruce Garner said in the release.

Firefighters were called to the home at 4062 Glencoe Street around 10 p.m. According to the release, Ms. Pankey told them that her estranged husband, Nolan Pankey, had been sending her text messages earlier in the day, threatening her life and stating that he intended to burn the house down.

Ms. Pankey told firefighters that she decided to take her three children to her sister's house as a precaution. When she returned home, Mr. Pankey was in the house.

Capt. James Whitmire with the Fire Investigation Division said a flammable liquid had been poured throughout the three-bedroom home and a fire lit.

Ms. Pankey called 911 and Mr. Pankey ran into some nearby woods, according to the release.

Firefighters arrived and eventually brought down the fire, but damage was estimated at $80,000, Mr. Garner said.

Chattanooga police using search dogs found Mr. Nolan around 1 a.m., the release stated.

Additional charges are pending. Fire Investigator Andrew Waters is assisting with the investigation.

Ms. Pankey was renting the house and did not have insurance. The American Red Cross was called in to provide assistance to Ms. Pankey and her three children.