POMEROY — During a bond hearing last week, the Meigs Municipal Court grand jury found probable cause in the case against Dennis Person, who was arrested on suspicion of arson earlier this month.
Persons, 56, of Long Bottom, was taken into custody on March 3 after the Olive Township Fire Department responded to a call of a house fire on 50810 Bigley Ridge Road in Long Bottom. After arriving on scene, the department notified the sheriff’s office.
Bashan, Chester and Tuppers Plains fire departments also responded to assist the Olive Township Fire Department in the early morning fire that destroyed the residence.
During their investigation, Deputies received information that Persons had allegedly set fire to his residence when other people were inside. One person who was inside the trailer at the time the fire was allegedly set sustained burns and was transported by Meigs County EMS to Holzer Meigs Emergency Department. Another person inside the trailer at the time was able to escape and had no injuries, the sheriff’s office said.
According to Sheriff Keith Wood, Persons gave a statement to deputies on scene that he was the one who had started the fire. Wood and Prosecuting Attorney Colleen Williams meet with the state fire marshal officials to determine possible charges in this investigation.
The Ohio State Bar Association explains the difference between an arson charge as opposed to an aggravated arson charge. In the case of an arson charge, it is the intentional burning of a building. A charge of aggravated arson means the individual who set the fire not only intentionally started it to burn a building, but that doing so created a substantial risk of serious physical harm to a person other than the arsonist.
As a result of the grand jury’s decision, Person was charged with three counts of aggravated arson and bond was set at $10,000. He will remain in jail until 10 percent, or $1,000, is posted.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551