OLD MONROE, Mo. (AP) - A former volunteer firefighter is suspected in a series of eastern Missouri arson fires.
Dustin Mathew Grigsby, 19, of Old Monroe, is charged with one count of arson, but authorities say he is the main suspect in 14 other structure fires that occurred near the small community this year. Grigsby is jailed on $50,000 cash-only bond.
Grigsby was a volunteer with the Old Monroe Fire Protection District, where his father is a captain. District officials were puzzled by the large number of suspicious fires this year, the most recent one on Saturday at a detached garage, where a pickup truck was destroyed.
Security video footage from a business near the home led to Grigsby.
On Sunday, John Adams of Adams Automotive contacted the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department after reviewing security camera footage. The video showed a white 1990s Chevrolet Lumina with a large dent in the rear driver's side panel driving past the garage several times, then pulled next to the garage with its headlights off.
The video showed a man getting out of the Lumina and entering the garage, authorities said. Minutes later, the garage was engulfed in flames.
Lincoln County Fire Marshal Barry Nuss had been charting the suspicious fires and noticed a circular pattern. He advised police to start looking for the arsonist's car in the middle of the pattern.
Police found the Lumina in Grigsby's driveway, and authorities say he admitted setting the Saturday fire.
Old Monroe Fire Chief Chris Blevins dismissed Grigsby immediately after learning of the criminal charge against him.