Tennessee Church Fire Suspect Was A Firefighter

A Tennessee firefighter who was under investigation for a string of recent fires, has been charged with setting a church on fire on Easter Sunday. Codie Austin Clark, 25, has been charged by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office with setting fire to the New Salem Presbyterian Church, located in Sharon.

Clark had been a member of the Dresden Fire Department, but was subject to an internal investigation for the previous fires when the church fire occurred. The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office and the Dresden Fire Department investigated the church fire and determined it was intentionally set.

Clark is facing a single charge of arson of a place of worship. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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