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Fireman in custody after allegedly setting house on fire

May 09, 2014 -- 12:02pm

Daily American Republic

A Butler County volunteer firefighter was arrested this week after he allegedly set fire to his home with his son inside. The Poplar Bluff Fire Department responded at 6:38 a.m. Tuesday to a structure fire at the 2018 Hillsdale home occupied by Dallas Lee Tanner. Investigator for the State Fire Marshal's Office, Jason Dunn was called to the scene as the "pattern of the fire, what we saw on the floor" needed further investigation. Poplar Bluff fire Chief Ralph Stucker assisted Dunn in the investigation. The report states that Tanner said he was asleep with his 6-year-old son on the living room couch when he was awakened by the dog barking and "heavy smoke" in the house. Tanner reported getting his son out of the house, taking him to his neighbor's house and grabbing his portable radio from his truck. Phelps says Dunn felt the fire did not appear accidental. Tanner ultimately admitted to starting the fire. To "smoke up the house," Tanner allegedly said he lit a roll of toilet paper and threw it in a clothes basket. He then took his son outside and called the police. 35-year old Tanner was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He was booked and taken to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, where he signed himself in for evaluation.


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