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Arson Who Done It?


Who Done It?


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina

Shakespir Edition

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Correspondence may be directed to:

Mario V. Farina

Email: [email protected]

Arson Who Done It?


This is a “Who Done It?” Someone lit the fire that destroyed the abandoned tire factory in the village of Deyville. It happened in 1998 but I worked on breaking the case and am telling you about it because the outcome was important to me. My name is Robert D. Fatheringham. I’m Chief of Police in the village. I’m very popular with the people who live here and they place a great deal of faith in my opinions even when those opinions are wrong.


It was Friday, July 10, 1998. The phone rang. I picked it up and was told by the excited voice of Allen Crenshaw, son of the Fire Chief, Max Crenshaw, that there was a terrible fire at the old tire factory on Winston Road. He said he was on his way to attend classes at Granbury Community College on the outskirts of Deyville. He was driving. Turning on to Winston Road, he immediately saw the flames. He was making the call from a nearby home. I told Allen to stay where he was until I came to see him. He said he would and gave the address of the home from which he was calling.


I phoned the Fire Department telling them about the fire, then placed a call to the Fire Chief. His secretary said he was not in but would leave a message. I knew the owner of the building, Roy Richards and phoned his number to alert him about the fire. His phone did not answer and I left a message.


I could hear the sirens of the fire engines as I got into my car and rushed to where Allen was waiting. He was a nice red-headed kid, about 19, dressed in jeans and white shirt. He was wearing a backpack. He was waiting for me on the porch. There was a great deal of smoke in the air and I could see flames coming from the windows of the factory which was located down the street. The fire engines were arriving.


Allen told me that he had seen a rough-looking hombre running from the scene at about the same time he had spotted the fire. I used the radio in the car to communicate with Detective Tim Brown at the police station with the description of the man. Tim said he might know who the person was and would get back to me.


I received a radio call in the car from Max, the Fire Chief. He was horrified to hear about the fire and was surprised that his son had reported it. He said he had been out to lunch but had given me the call as soon as he got back to the station.


Detective Brown reported on the radio that he had spotted Mike Mix on a street about a mile from the factory walking rapidly. Interrogating him, Mike had told Tim that he had been sleeping in the factory when the fire broke out. Fearing he would be accused of starting the fire he had left the scene wanting to put some distance between himself and fire. He had agreed to accompany the detective to the police station and was waiting there to be questioned.


Detective Brown had worked on fire investigations in the past. It was interesting that he had been near several shady fires when they had occurred. He enjoyed making arrangements for firework displays being held on holidays. Brown was no stranger to fires. He enjoyed his fireworks hobby and doing fire-fighting demonstrations. He was the first person I’d call when there was a suspicious fire. He and I had become great friends. His family and mine would often put on barbecues at our respective homes.


Roy Richards, the owner of the abandoned factory arrived at the scene, which, by now, had attracted a large number of viewers. He said he had heard about the fire on the radio news in his car and had driven to the fire as soon as he could. It was a coincidence that he had been talking to a prospective buyer of the property.


Back at the police station, I received a report from the fire investigation team. The fire had been put out quickly. Evidence at the scene indicated it had been started by someone lighting a small candle then leaving the place. This had given the perpetrator a good deal of time to leave before the fire burned down to dry trash that had actually begun the conflagration. The team advised me that they believed they knew who had set the fire but were not willing to share that information with me until they were sure.


The group involved with the fire was in a meeting room waiting for me to speak to them. The individuals were:


Fire Chief Max Crenshaw

His son, Allen Crenshaw

The owner of the building, Roy Richards

Vagrant, Mike Mix

Detective Tim Brown


I read the report from the investigation team, then told the group that I suspected someone in the room had set the fire. I said I had no solid evidence but that I simply had a hunch.


The fire chief displayed a great deal of anger for being on my suspect list. He acknowledge that sometimes the person least suspected of setting a fire would be the one that had done it. But he strongly denied he had had anything to do with it.


Allen said all he had done was report the fire and that the bearer of bad news was not always the one that had caused it.


The owner of the building said he wouldn’t have been attempting to sell the building if he had just lit the candle to start the fire.


The vagrant said the first thing he knew about the fire is when he smelled the smoke and saw the flames.


Detective Brown said that simply because he was an expert in fires did not mean that he also started them.


I said I’d get back to the group and adjourned the meeting.

This is where I’m asking you to tell me who you think is the person who set the fire. I’m pretty sure you’ll be wrong. If you get it right, please tell me how you figured it out. Don’t read further unless you’re willing to know who done it!


The investigation team said they had three witnesses who had seen me at the scene of the fire shortly before it started. My secretary said I had been out of the office before news of the fire came. I had returned to my office, sweaty and leaving a trail of dust. I was arrested by the Assistant Police Chief. At the trial I was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison.


I do admit at this time that it was I who started the fire with the candle. I was a secret lover of fires and doing barbeques with Detective Brown was not enough to assuage this addiction. I served my time in prison.


The people of Deyville had been shocked with my transgression. However, they had admired me so much they organized a Welcome Back party for me when I became a free man. There came a time when a new Chief of Police was needed. I was elected and have held the position for over five years.







Arson Who Done It?

  • ISBN: 9781310921315
  • Author: Mario V. Farina
  • Published: 2016-07-11 21:20:06
  • Words: 1310
Arson Who Done It? Arson Who Done It?