On Saturday, August 3, 2013, Old Monroe Fire Protection District responded to a detached garage structure fire along the 100 block of First St., in Old Monroe. At the time, the cause of the fire was undetermined.
On Sunday morning, John Adams, the owner of Adams Automotive in Old Monroe, contacted the Sheriff’s Office after reviewing his security cameras footage to report the fire as possibly caused by an arsonist. Adams Automotive business cameras sit directly across from the structure fire.
From the footage, investigators observed a white 1990’s Chevrolet Lumina car pull next to the garage and remained there with its headlights off. A short time later, a white male later identified as 19-year old Dustin Matthew Grigsby, of Old Monroe, emerged from his parked vehicle and entered the garage. Within minutes of departing the garage, the structure was fully engulfed in flames.
Lincoln County Fire Marshal, Barry Nuss, told investigators the Old Monroe area has had a series of suspicious fires and they appear to have been done in circular pattern. Investigators started a mobile canvass of the populated areas within the circular pattern of the suspicious fires.
Investigators located a white 1990’s Chevrolet Lumina 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 is a volunteer firefighter with the Old Monroe Fire Protection District.
Old Monroe Fire Chief, Chris Blevins made the following statement, “We pride ourselves in helping members of our community. Mr. Grigsby is accused of a crime and will be brought to justice. I dismissed him from his duties effective the minute he was charged. It is now time for our community to begin healing from the damage caused by this individual.”
The Lincoln County Arson Task Force has been investigating a string of up to 14 suspicious structure fires near Old Monroe this year, in addition to fires in the previous years. A highly unusual number of fires for this relatively quiet Fire District.
“Over the past several months my office has received multiple community tips regarding criminal activity,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “We appreciate the help from our citizens leading to the arrest of the suspect.”
Grigsby did not admit to causing the 14 other structure fires in the Old Monroe area. The investigation is still ongoing.
Grigsby is charged with Second Degree Arson and is currently held at the Lincoln County Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.