Archived Story

Two found guilty of arson

Published 7:47pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two Alexander City residents were found guilty of intentionally setting their home ablaze in 2011.
Janice Bradberry, 57, and Charles Bradberry, 62, were found guilty of second degree arson, a Class B Felony, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Duerr.
The fire occurred May 4, 2011 at 183 Ford Drive at around 4:25 a.m.
Capt. Reese McAllister said that the Alexander City Fire Department investigates fires as the cases warrant.
“We find the origin – where it started – and cause of the fire, and a lot of times more than one origin points to arson,” McAllister. “We start ruling out all other possible causes, but … you sometimes have to start looking at other possible human interactions.”
According to the investigation findings released by the ACFD, firefighters on the scene found minimal damage to fire on exterior walls and minimal auto ventilation marks. A bedroom window was open and a ladder had been placed below the windowsill.
Examination of the interior of the house revealed four different points of origin for the fire. One was in the interior hall bathroom, and three were in the middle bedroom. A sofa had considerable damage, and in the closet there was another fire that had self-extinguished before firefighters arrived.
Also, in the middle of the aforementioned bedroom, a table with a laptop on it had been burned, and there were pillows and clothes smoldering at the bottom of the closet.
All smoke detectors in the home had been rendered inoperable, but the homeowner said they had been removed the previous day to avoid nuisance alarms.
All this pointed towards human interaction, said Capt. Craig Clark, who investigated the scene along with McAllister.
“You’d be hard pressed to rationalize that four separate points of origin were all accidental,” Clark said. “The captain on the scene notified us when he discovered the different origins that there was a good likelihood this was a set fire.”
Second-degree arson carries with it a possible sentence of 2-20 years. Sentencing has not yet been held, Duerr said.