Firefighter charged with starting fire in Roan Mountain

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016


A Roan Mountain volunteer firefighter is facing a felony charge after police say he intentionally set a brush fire at a county residence and then returned with a fire truck to battle the blaze he had set.
Carter County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Christian Carrier arrested Christopher Dayton Hughes, 27, of 150 Chase Drive, Roan Mountain, on Wednesday and charged him with one count of arson, which is a felony under state law.
According to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the charges against Hughes stem from an incident on Tuesday where officers were dispatched to a report of a brush fire at 7702 Highway 19E in Roan Mountain. When Carrier arrived on scene, he spoke with three individuals who said they had witnessed Hughes at the scene and said he was driving a tan Chevy S10 pickup with a silver tool box in the bed of the truck.
“Mr. Hughes had been observed fleeing the property just prior to the fire being set,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said. “He returned a short time later with a fire truck to extinguish the fire. The owner of the property would not allow Mr. Hughes back on their property and extinguished the fire themselves.”
According to court documents, one of the witnesses told officers Hughes asked her “not to ‘start trouble’” and asked her not to call the police over the incident.
Hughes then reportedly left the scene again. Carrier said he later located Hughes at the Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department station.
“Mr. Hughes was very visibly upset upon my arrival and couldn’t make a complete statement of the situation,” Carrier said. “The vehicle I witnessed Mr. Hughes sitting in was a tan Chevy S10 with a silver tool box in the bed. I also witnessed two cans of gas in the bed of the truck.”
Carrier obtained a warrant charging Hughes with arson and Hughes was taken into custody on Tuesday. He was booked into the Carter County Detention Center where he remains held on a $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Dec. 13.
Captain Greg Whitehead of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is assisting in an ongoing arson investigation, Lunceford said.

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