The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

April 27, 2013

Arson charge filed in Campbell fire

Wolfe indicted in February 22 incident

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — A Dallas man has been indicted on a charge of arson, for allegedly burning down a home in Campbell on his birthday in February.

The Hunt County grand jury returned the indictment for arson-property of another Friday against Russell Warren Wolfe, 64. Wolfe was alleged to have started a fire or to have caused an explosion at the residence on February 22.

Wolfe was arrested the same day and remains in custody in the Hunt County Jail.

The grand jury returned 51 indictments Friday, including 14 charges issued sealed pending the arrest and arraignment of the person or persons name in the indictments.

A wandering individual has been charged with one count of arson, in connection with a Friday afternoon house fire in Campbell.

Hunt County Homeland Security Director Richard Hill said he served a warrant on Wolfe in the jail, was related to an arson fire at 2055 South Patterson Street/ FM 513 in Campbell on the afternoon of Wolfe’s 64th birthday.

Units from the Campbell, Cash, Cumby and Lone Oak fire departments fought the blaze, but the home was a total loss.

Witnesses reported seeing a white male with a backpack and wearing a black hoodie leaving the residence at the same time smoke was coming out of the front windows.

“The man was seen headed east from the house through a pasture,” Hill said. “He was detained by police about 1.2 miles east of the ongoing fire. The officers arrested the man for being in possession of dangerous drugs. During an interview with the suspected arsonist, it was learned he had entered the vacant house seeking shelter. The suspect helped himself to food left in the freezer.

There was no heat in the house so the suspect lit a fire in a metal container he placed on the floor. He left the fire unattended when he went into another room. When he returned, he found fire had spread from the metal container to the wall and was spreading to the surrounding area. He left the house, making no effort to notify anyone of the fire in progress.”

Hill said the owner of the house was contacted. The owner did not know the suspect and had not given him, nor anyone else, permission to enter nor to stay at the house.

Arson is a second-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.