Officials have charged and identified the Birmingham Police officer accused of setting a string of fires in the Warrior area.
Curtis Thornton, 27 of Warrior, is an officer with the Birmingham West Precinct. He has been charged with two counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and one count of criminal mischief in connection to the Warrior fires. Thornton was arrested Thursday and charged Friday, May 25. The arson charges carry a bond of $100,000 each and the criminal mischief charge has a bond of $15,000.
Warrior police say there were nine suspicious fires set in abandoned buildings and all were located in the 400 block of Dana Road. Thornton has been charged with two of those fires and officials continue to investigate any connection to the other seven.
Officials say that there have been no arrests made yet in the Ensley arson fires, but now that they have the evidence in the Warrior cases, they will be able to narrow the scope of their investigation in Birmingham.
Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks spoke briefly about the Birmingham investigation, saying that it was proceeding at a good pace. He clarified that they are now looking at 14 possible arson fires set in the city between May 9 and May 21. They will continue investigating through the Memorial Day weekend.
Officials did admit that Thornton worked overnight from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the area where the Birmingham fires were set. Those fires happened during the overnight hours, usually between midnight and 7 a.m., and were also set in abandoned buildings.
State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk would not comment on how their investigation led them to Thornton, what accelerants were used in the fires, or what motive Thornton had in allegedly setting the fires.
Paulk said today that his goal at this time was to preserve as much evidence so investigators could present the strongest case possible to the courts.
Check back with this story as more information becomes available.
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