Police investigate arson

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   Police are investigating a suspicious fire and vandalism which occurred at a Carter County building over the weekend.
   The Elizabethton Fire Department and officers of the Elizabethton Police Department were summoned to the Carter County Recycling Center, on Cherokee Park Drive, Saturday afternoon after an employee of the center found several windows broken out and a fire inside the building.
   According to reports, EPD Ptl. Jason Shaw spoke with Doyle Brewer, who stated that he is employed at the center and had stopped at the building on Saturday to move items inside which had been dropped off. "He advised that upon his arrival he found that all the windows had been broken out and it appeared the building was on fire," Shaw states in his report.
   A total of 12 windows had been broken out of the building and Brewer told police that the windows had not been broken when he was at the recycling center the previous day.
   Members of the Elizabethton Fire Department advised police that the fire appeared to be an act of arson. "It appeared that a plastic container possibly containing a combustible liquid had been set on fire on the floor of the center," Shaw said. "The fire was contained to that area. The fire was on the concrete floor near the steel roll-up door on the west side of the building. There was no fire damage to the building, but the building was filled with smoke."
   Shaw states in his report that during his investigation, dispatchers with the 911 Communications Center advised him that at the time of the fire call, a call came in from the area across the river from the Recycling Center and the caller advised that there were three or four juveniles in the area behind the recycling center.
   Another witness also reported seeing a juvenile in the area of the recycling center. The second witness, who is an employee of Valley Forge Auction, said that she entered the gate at the auction house around 3 p.m. on Saturday, around the same time the fire occurred, and she saw a male juvenile who appeared to be 12 or 14 years old standing at the corner of the recycling center. "She advised after she drove through the gate and exited her car to enter the auction house she heard a popping noise and saw the boy run around the corner of the building toward the river," states Shaw in his report.
   Anyone who has any information regarding the fire at the Recycling Center is asked to call the Elizabethton Police Department at (423) 542-4151.