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Tennessee man charged with arson after shower/bathroom fire at Pilot station in Middlesboro

Updated: Mar 25

From The Bell County Sheriff's Department -

John W. Isbill - BCDC

At approximately 7:07am Bell County K-9 Deputy Adam Southern responded to Pilot Truck Stop on Highway 25E in regard to a male subject, identified as 40-year-old John W. Isbill of Oak Ridge Tennessee, locking himself in the shower area and starting a fire.


Upon arrival and thorough investigation, Deputy Southern determine that Isbill, exhibiting behavior of being under the influence of some type of intoxicant, had barricaded himself in the shower room for most of the night, acting suspicious and then began cursing. Isbill was found to have stacked towels and clothing in front of the wooden door to the room setting the items on fire with a cigarette lighter.


An employee of Pilot and a Walmart employee in the store saw the smoke and made entry into the room and pulled Isbill to safety.


Isbill was eventually taken into custody with the assistance of Middlesboro Officers Robin Venable and Harvey Johnson. Middlesboro Fire Department extinguished the fire and evacuated the smoke from the building.


Also responding was the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department.


John W. Isbill was lodged in the Bell County Detention Center charged with Arson – 1st degree and wanton endangerment – 1stdegree.

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