Decatur Co. businesses devastated by arson

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. —A man is arrested after setting multiple fires in a local county.

Early Sunday morning, TBI agents joined the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and the Decatur County Fire Department in investigating two business fires that occurred in the 200 block of North Pleasant Street and a third fire at a house along East White Oak Street. Agents and investigators determined the fires had been intentionally set.

Decatur county firefighters worked diligently on putting out the fires.

“It took approximately three hours to bring all three structures under control and extinguished,” said David Whitaker, county-wide fire coordinator for Decatur Co.

The two businesses impacted were Larry’s and The Diner. Both are popular and have a long, rich history in the county.

The owner of Larry’s, and daughter Pamela Bartholomew, says that the county is distraught over the ordeal.

“My dad’s has been there for 47 years. The diner has been there for over ten years, and they are staples in our community. This is just a very sad day in Decaturville,” Pamela Bartholomew said.

Further investigation revealed that Kris Leslie Warner was the individual responsible for starting the fires. He was spotted acting suspicious at the scene. There was also video evidence of Warner starting the fires.

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw him, and he was walking down the backstreet behind Larry’s. I just froze, and I was like that’s him,” Pamela Bartholomew said.

“Security cameras at Larry’s and also my brother has security cameras and was able to get video,” said Bartholomew.

Decatur County Mayor Tim Grace thanks everyone who played a role in helping with the fires.

“I’d like to thank everybody that has took part in this terrible thing that has happened to the town of Decaturville,” Grace said.

Agents obtained warrants for Warner, charging him with four counts of Burglary and three counts of Arson. He was arrested and booked into the Decatur County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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