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Arrest made in Feb. 2 Franklin Fire

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Horseshoe Bend man was arrested on Feb. 2 after a fire which destroyed a double wide mobile home in Franklin was determined to be arson.

Christopher Allen Simmons, 25, was charged the night of the fire.

Firefighters and Izard County Deputies responded to the home at 39 Collins Drive in Franklin around 9 p.m. on Feb. 2, to find the structure totally engulfed in flames.

The home was owned by Jerried Hardin.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries reported as the fire was extinguished.

An investigation determined that Hardin's girlfriend had gotten into an argument earlier in the evening with Simmons, who was her ex-boyfriend.

Investigators were told that Simmons had threatened to burn the house during the argument.

Investigator Charles Melton, who questioned Simmons, determined that Simmons had entered the house and used a burner on the cook stove to ignite a paper towel.

The burning paper towel was then thrown onto a couch, starting the fire.

According to Sheriff Tate Lawrence, Simmons was taken into custody and formal charges of breaking and entering and arson are pending.

Simmons was released from the Izard County Detention Facility after posting bond in the amount of $150,000.

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