MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is facing felony arson charges after police say he set a Frayser house on fire using soda bottles filled with gasoline.
No one was injured, but the house could have burned down if the Memphis Fire Department hadn’t gotten involved.
The June 10 fire led police to charge the same man with 15 cases of arson in a four-block radius.
Witnesses told police that 27-year-old Dvon Robertson was pacing around the front of the house in the 900 block of North Frayser Circle, with two soda bottles filled with gasoline.
They claim he was prowling back and forth, as if he was waiting for something to happen, before he continued down the street, away from the scene.
Residents are frustrated that such a pointless act of destruction would occur in a neighborhood that wasn’t asking for trouble.
“People around here towards north Frayser, where I’m living, they aren’t that kind of people," resident Anthony Williams said. "They do mind their business.”
Arson investigators later confirmed that combustibles were set on fire inside the house, with trails of gasoline nearby.
Police say that after Robertson started the fire, he fled west down North Frayser Circle. Police later apprehended him at the intersection of North Frayser and Westside Drive without any further incident.
They found empty bottles near the scene of the arrest matching witnesses’ descriptions, but upon visiting nearby gas stations, were unable to determine where Robertson got the gas.
Unfortunately, this is a trend for this quiet neighborhood. Neighbors said another house on the same street was burnt down just a couple of months ago.
Robertson had no prior charges in Shelby County. Now, he’s facing a felony count of arson.
"He came with it, he knew what he wanted to do. So, he’s done it, and he’s locked up,” Williams said.
— By Peter Fleischer