Overnight fires lead to arson arrest

By D. C. Moody

August 13, 2014

EASLEY — A spate of fires in the early morning hours of Aug. 10 sparked sirens and first responders four different times between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., resulting in the arrest of an Easley man on arson and multiple burglary charges.

Thomas Wayne Stinson, 23, of 200 S. 2nd St. in Easley, was arrested following the fourth response by Easley firefighters and law enforcement officials as he was walking away from 103 S. 3rd St. around 7 a.m.

Major Tim Tollison of the Easley Police Department said the first call came into 911 around 2 a.m. and fire department crews responded. When the second call came in is when law enforcement suspected something was amiss.

“Once that second call came in, we hit the streets looking for anything out of the ordinary,” Tollison said. “There was a third fire reported and our patrolmen were in the area already when the suspect walked out onto the roadway where a fourth fire had been started.”

Stinson emerged from the roadside where a patrolman stopped and questioned him about the fires. Stinson repeatedly gave false identifying information before finally submitting his name and address after being taken into custody.

Stinson’s original arrest was for giving false information to a police officer but other charges have since been added. He also faces four counts of third-degree arson and four counts of second-degree burglary for which he has been denied bond.

Stinson started fires at 103 S. 3rd St., 206 S. 2nd St., 503 S. Pendleton St. and 207 W. 2nd Ave., all in Easley.

Tollison said he doesn’t believe the fires were started with the intent to cause harm.

“After we talked with the suspect, we feel it’s obvious there is a psychological issue there,” he said.