On Sunday, August 4, 2013, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested 19-year old Dustin Grigsby for causing a structure fire along the 100 block of First St., in Old Monroe.
Thanks to Lincoln County citizen and business owner, John Adams, the Sheriff’s Office was able to identify the arsonist’s car with the help of his business surveillance footage.
Lincoln County Fire Marshal, Barry Nuss, had been tracking the area’s fires and told investigators the Old Monroe area has had a series of suspicious fires that appear to have been done in circular pattern. Investigators then started a mobile canvass of the populated areas within the circular pattern of the suspicious fires.
A short time later, investigators located the car in a driveway along the 200 block of Emerald Court, in Old Monroe and made contact with Grigsby. Grigsby admitted to investigators he started the structure fire along the 100 block of First St., in Old Monroe.
Grigsby was a volunteer firefighter with the Old Monroe Fire Protection District and was immediately terminated after charges were filed.
August 6, 2013, fire investigators with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety interviewed Grigsby on the remaining 14 separate unsolved fires in the Old Monroe area. According to investigators, Grigsby admitted to setting 11 of the 14 fires. Three of the structures were occupied by residents.
“I would like to thank the Missouri Division of Fire Safety and the Lincoln County Fire Marshal for their support in this matter,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “The investigators involved in this case were instrumental in removing a serial arsonist from our community. I am thankful we were able to apprehend the suspect before someone got seriously hurt.”
Barry Nuss, Lincoln County Fire Marshal said, “Mr. Grigsby was a Firefighter in title only. He did not embody the values of a Firefighter….Honor, Service and Dedication to name a few. While this incident may seem a “black eye” to the fire service, these were not the actions of a Firefighter but those of a rogue individual, a serial arsonist and a criminal who endangered the lives of residents as well as other Firefighters.”
Grigsby told investigators he was “stressed” and his home life was a contributing factor.
Grigsby was charged with Second Degree Arson on August 5, 2013. He now is facing seven additional Second Degree Arson and four First Degree Arson charges. He is still held at the Lincoln County Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.