Two arrests made in suspected arson

Two arrests have been made in a Dyer fire that investigators believe is a case of arson.

According to a press release issued by Dyer Fire Chief Ryan Shanklin, Christopher G. Johnson, 28, of Greenfield and Bernardo Perez, 32, of Bells are charged with arson and prohibited weapons related to a Nov. 18 fire. The press release states that the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case on Dec. 27 and issued arrest warrants for Johnson and Perez. Both men were arrested the following day. They are currently being held in the Gibson County Correctional Complex and are due in court Jan. 8.

The Dyer Fire Dept., Madison Co. Fire Investigation Team and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office Fire Investigation Section assisted with the fire investigation. The origin and cause of the fire at 292 Madison Street in Dyer was determined to be an incendiary fire. The Dyer Police Dept. and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted in the subsequent criminal investigation, gathering and analyzing evidence that determined probable cause existed that Johnson and Perez intentionally set the fire at the residence, Shanklin said.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

The case is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dyer Police Dept. at 731-692-3714 or the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. Callers may remain anonymous. Awards of up to $5,000 may be given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects.

“The mission of the Dyer Fire Dept. is to protect lives and property,” Shanklin said. “In order to do this, we must investigate the cause of every fire that occurs. This also helps save on consumers’ insurance by deterring the crime of arson. The Dyer Fire Dept. would like to thank the Dyer Police Dept., Madison Co. Fire Dept. Fire Investigation Team, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Greenfield Police Dept. for their work on this case.”

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