October 4, 2013

Dalton man charged with setting Rossville house on fire

Rachel Brown

— A Dalton man who officials said set a house in Rossville on fire last month while he and seven other people were inside has been charged with first degree arson and seven counts of reckless conduct.

Charles Richard Davis Jr., 28, of 2208 Chattanooga Road, was charged Monday by the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

Fire marshal spokesman Glen Allen said three of the people in the house on Sierra Lane at the time were Davis’ minor children, none of whom were hurt. One woman was treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation, but there were no other injuries, and the damage to the house was minimal, Allen said.

Why Davis may have set the house on fire is unclear, and information on Davis’ relationship to the residents in the house wasn’t immediately available. Capt. Chris Lyons of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office said Davis was inside the house legally.

Allen said Davis was arrested while he was at the Whitfield County Courthouse where he was at a hearing related to custody of his children. A property bond of $14,500 was set for Davis. He was still in the Catoosa County jail as of Thursday evening.