Fire leads to total loss in Madisonville (copy)

On Thursday night at close to 7:30 p.m., Englewood Rural Fire Department was called for mutual aid to Loop Lane in Madisonville for a barn fire. Also responding were the following departments: Gudger Fire, Tri Community Fire, Christianburg Fire, Madisonville City Fire, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Monroe County EMS. The barn was reportedly a total loss. Gudger Fire Capt. Jacob Hall was in charge of the scene.

A Madisonville man was arrested on an arson charge on Sept. 12 after he allegedly became angry over being evicted.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jason Filyaw said deputies responded to a barn fire just after 7 p.m. on Loop Lane and found the structure fully engulfed in flames.

According to investigators, Deputy Dakota Rinehart talked to the barn’s owner, Belinda Hawkins, and she told him she thought one of her tenants had started the fire.

Filyaw said he was called to the scene and he contacted State Arson Investigator Travis Jones from the Tennessee Fire Marshall’s Office.

The two then talked to Hawkins, who said she was in the process of evicting several people from her property and thought one of them had done it.

According to Filyaw, he and Jones asked the tenants to come back the Sheriff’s Office so they could talk to them, but it took only one interview to find the person willing to confess.

The officers started talking to Raymond Brandon Saffles and after reading him his rights, Saffles allegedly admitted he was the one who had started the fire with lighter fluid and a hand torch. When asked why he had done it, Saffles said he was mad about being evicted.

Hawkins told Filyaw the barn was worth approximately $50,000.

Saffles, 23, was charged with arson.

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