3 arrested in suspicious fire at Henry Co. tire business - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


3 arrested in suspicious fire at Henry Co. tire business


Investigators say someone may have intentionally set fire to a tire barn early Friday in Henry County.

Firefighters were called about 1 a.m. to Smith Discount Tire Barn at 3940 Highway 79 North in Paris, TN.

Three people have been arrested in the case, and more arrests could be on the way.

"We had a deputy - Deputy Brian Davis - happened to be on routine patrol coming up Highway 79," said Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew. "As he got close here, he happened to look over at Smith Tire Barn and noticed there was a fire inside the building. Just as he noticed that, he looked up and there were two male suspects leaving the property."

Deputy Davis quickly nabbed the men along with a third person who was inside a car near the scene of the fire.

Now, William Tomlin, Diane Tomlin and Michael Allred face arson charges, and more could be coming.

The damage, however, was immediate and extensive. Several propane tanks exploded, spreading the fire quickly through the business and also damaging the neighboring storage facility.

Authorities evacuated several neighboring homes as a precaution.

"It's one of the largest fires we've had in Henry County in quite some time," Belew said.

The state fire marshal's office sent its special response team to collect evidence and investigate the source of the fire.

Two of the people charged have given statements to investigators in a case the town hasn't seen in quite a while.

"As many tires as there were in this facility, it's hard to put out. It's hard to extinguish," Belew said.

In fact, the sheriff said the fire could take the better part of another day to completely burn itself out.

No injuries were reported in the fire, and the sheriff said a fourth person could face charges as the investigation continues.

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