Arsonist charged with setting nine fires

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Police call him “serial arsonist”

By Lisa King

James Aaron Clark, 27, of Shelbyville was arrested Wednesday and charged with nine arson-related charges, after admitting that he set the fires, according, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said.

Detective Jason Rice said that Clark is charged with one count of first-degree arson, a felony which carries a penalty of 20 years to life, three counts of second-degree arson, also a felony, and seven counts of criminal mischief related to the fires.

Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Robert Goodwin said when he interrogated Clark about the fires, he admitted that he set them intentionally, because that was his way of reliving stress.

The last fire that Clark set occurred on La Grange Road last week at the site of an abandoned house.

Rice said that the fires were set beginning in July 2007. A firefighter was injured in a structure fire at that time, when he fell through the roof and broke his foot, Rice said. That injury precipitated the charge of first-degree arson, because an injury was incurred because of the fire, he added.

Clark is lodged at the Shelby County Detention Center under a $100,000 bond.