Boone County, Ark. man charged with 2 counts of arson

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:10 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - A Boone County, Ark. man is accused of setting fires at two residences, including one he claimed to own.

Authorities arrested Powell Cunningham, 29, on two felony counts of arson and a felony count of possession of a controlled substance.

Firefighters initially responded to a house on State Highway 7 South after receiving a call saying they’d spotted a fire at a residence. The caller said the man in the front yard asked if the fire department was on the way, saying he hoped not so he could set his own house on fire.

”It was something done on purpose, he set the house on fire because he stated to several people that he was going to do that,” said Boone County Chief Deputy Roy Martin. ”When our deputies arrived the house was fully engulfed, and the subject had fled the scene.”

Cunningham’s grandfather owned the home.

”We’ve responded to these residents several times in the past several months,” said Martin. “We received calls earlier in the day of a man jumping into oncoming traffic along the highway.”

The fire was put out, but not until after the house was declared a total loss. A second call came that night from the neighboring house.

”There was another residence next to the house that was set on fire, a fire set on the deck of that residence,” Marin explained. “But before it got to the house the fire department got it put out.”

Cunningham was then found the next day near Bass and brought into custody by Newton County deputies.

”We located him in Newton County the next day, one of our officers was contacted by phone and knew the residence he was at,” said Martin. “Newton County went on and made contact with him and then met us at the Newton/Boone line and we transported him up to our facility here.”

Cunningham is held in the Boone County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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