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Local man jailed for twice setting fire to same house


News Staff Writer

An Atmore man, 38-year-old John Edward Norwood, was arrested June 22 and charged with twice setting fire to the same vacant house.
Police and fire reports show that Atmore Fire Department personnel were dispatched June 20 to a structure fire at a vacant residence at 165 South Road.
The fire was extinguished, and through witness accounts, Norwood was identified as a suspect.
Less than two days later, at approximately 7:15 a.m. on June 22, city firemen and police responded to the site again after another report of a fire to the same structure.
After witnesses placed Norwood on the property at the time the fire started, responding officers set up a perimeter, and the Atmore man was taken into custody a short time later.
Norwood was booked into the Escambia County Detention Center, charged with two counts of second-degree arson. His arrest marked the 10th time he has been jailed here since 2010.
According to Alabama Criminal Code, a person commits the crime of arson in the second degree if he “intentionally damages a building by starting or maintaining a fire or causing an explosion.”
Second-degree arson is a Class B felony. A conviction on such a charge could result in a minimum prison sentence of 2 years, up to a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Norwood remained in the county jail Monday afternoon, June 26.