MEMPHIS, Tenn. — New video shows a man pouring accelerant inside a Memphis tax service before it goes up in flames, one of several recent arson fires set at businesses, the Memphis Fire Department says.
MFD said Monday it’s looking for an arsonist suspected in three commercial fires this month at Washington Credit and Tax Solutions: 5910 Mt. Moriah, Feb. 5; 4359 Elvis Presley Blvd., Feb. 7; and 3517 Ramill, Feb. 7.
Each of the fires was intentionally ignited, MFD said. The department posted photos of a person of interest in the case. Video of one of the fires on Ramill can be seen above.
The company’s owner, Chestine Washington, didn’t want her face shown because she says she was recently assaulted by one of the suspects.
“It’s a very repulsive situation. We never had anything like this to happen before and in six years I have 22 locations and people are only targeting the Memphis locations,” Washington said.
As one of the men walks through, he pours some type of accelerant, leaves briefly, and then uses an open flame device to create a ring of flames. Both men in the photos appear to be wearing wigs and smiling for the camera, and apparently broadcasting live on social media after the fires.
“They went live with the wigs and all of sudden we get this footage from the burning and the same guy had the earring on the side of his eye,” Washington said.
Washington says another tax company owner is responsible.
“The motive is it’s stemming from another tax company. Her and her boyfriend paid them to burn my offices down because she’s an ex-employee and she used to work for my company,” she said. “The two suspects are actually affiliated with the girl that owns the other tax company and also had affiliation with my team and I being assaulted a week or so ago at predate.”
Washington is confident arrests will be made thanks her security camera video.
“I guess they didn’t know I have cameras in my office. I have cameras in all 22 locations,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH or the state arson hotline at 1-800-762-3017.