Arson charge awaits Crutchfield Street fire setter

Firefighters put out hot spots at the house fire on Crutchfield Street.
photo Firefighters put out hot spots at the house fire on Crutchfield Street.

The person who set a house on fire March 19 on Crutchfield Street will be charged with aggravated arson if arrested, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

After a week-long investigation, fire department investigators announced Thursday that the fire -- which nearly killed four people inside the home at 1207 Crutchfield -- was deliberately set.

The department is offering a $1,500 reward for information that leads to a suspect, spokesman Bruce Garner said.

The fire started around 3 a.m. and trapped four people inside the house: 86-year-old Callie Stargin; 24-year-old Edward Jackson; 22-year-old Saquoyah Moore and 9-month-old Eli Campbell. The fire was blocking both the front and back doors of the house and all the windows were covered with security bars, so the family couldn't get out.

Four Chattanooga police officers got there before firefighters and used a crowbar to pry the security bars off the window and pull the family to safety. Jackson was the most seriously injured, with second- and third-degree burns on his hands and arms. The rest of the family was treated for smoke inhalation.

Garner said the aggravated arson charge is warranted because the arsonist threatened multiple lives.

"They endangered the lives of the four people in the house and the lives of the first responders who went to that fire," he said.

Fire investigators would not say why they believe the fire was deliberately set but asked that anybody with information about the case call 800-762-3017.

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