HENRY COUNTY, Mo. — A man from Henry County is accused of Arson stemming from a fire in April of 2017.

James Scribner, VINELink

A probable cause statement field in Henry County indicates that the blaze took place on 5th Street in Clinton on April 26, 2017.

The subject now accused, 50-year-old James Ray Scribner, has also been convicted for two prior felonies, including one for possession of a controlled substance from October 2010.

Authorities were dispatched to reports of a structure fire on 5th Street in Clinton on April 26. Upon arrival, witnesses told investigators that Scribner had quickly left the scene just before the blaze began. The home reportedly belonged to Scribner’s father.

Scribner’s father told officers that his son had been staying with him the past few days and he was certain he had set the fire. The suspect was later located in a neighbor’s basement threatening to take his own life.

An investigation by a Missouri Fire Marshall found that two fires had been intentionally set, one in a back bedroom and another in the living room of the residence.

Scribner told investigators he had not set the fires and was warning everyone else in the home to escape quickly. He said he had broken windows to help people escape and left the area quickly to avoid bodily harm. He denied knowing how the flames first broke out.

After a full investigation by the fire marshall, it was determined that it was not possible for the fire to have started unintentionally. The blaze first began in a box spring in a back room and in a chair in the living room, both of which tested positive for incendiary substances.

Scribner is now charged with felony arson in the second degree. He is behind bars at the Tipton Correctional Facility. Bond has not been set and future court dates are currently pending.