Law office goes up in flames, arson suspected


DRESDEN, Tenn. — An early Wednesday morning fire destroys a law office, and investigators suspect arson is to blame.

“It’s just not something you usually see in rural West Tennessee where it looks like you have an arson situation,” owner Benjamin Dempsey said.

One of Dempsey’s three law offices went up in flames Wednesday. The blaze shocked the community and has officials crying foul.

“Somehow a projectile had been thrown through the front window with some flammable fluid. That’s what they believe,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said thanks to a good Samaritan the building is not a total loss.

“Somebody driving by was able to see the fire early on, so the fire department was quick to respond and was able to save the building but a large amount of damage was done to the interior,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said no one was in the office at the time and none of his case files were lost.

“All of our offices are backed up digitally between themselves, so we didn’t lose any materials,” Dempsey said.

As for why this happened, Dempsey said he does not believe this was a personal attack.

“I don’t think I was targeted, but I think something about the offices and some of the activities at the office in the last few weeks were the target of it,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey would not elaborate on which of his recent cases might have sparked such a violent reaction, but he says this is not the first time this office has been threatened.

“Sadly, we had had some threats in the last few weeks of some retaliation about some activities where we had helped get some money for some senior citizens,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said investigators are looking into a particular suspect at this time but could not go into details because of the ongoing investigation.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News asked Dempsey if he thought this fire had anything to do with the sexual battery case pending against him. He was indicted last September in Carroll County.

He said he does not believe so because the case has been resolved and the details have just not yet been made public.