Police said Heath Johnson had been in an ongoing dispute with his mother and had previously threatened to burn down her home and harm her.
Johnson, 38, 120 Beauty Salon Road, Mooresburg, was arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on one count of arson.
As of Thursday, Johnson remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $75,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 31.
Shortly after 12 p.m. Monday, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jesse Williams responded to a residential fire at 120 Beauty Salon Road, where he observed smoke coming from the closed front door and rear door.
When the Bulls Gap VFD arrived on the scene, firefighters discovered the door was dead-bolted and had to force it open.
HCSO Detective David Lafollete stated in his report that the “fire appeared to have been started on a couch in the living room. Furniture had been stacked on the couch. The fire appeared to have been arson.”
A neighbor reportedly saw Johnson walking away from the residence carrying a bag moments before he spotted the smoke and called 911.
Johnson’s mother and sister reportedly stated that Johnson had made threats to burn down the house and harm his mother.
HCSO Chief Deputy Tony Allen said the only known motive for the arson is an ongoing argument between Johnson and his mother, although the reason for the argument wasn’t known.
The living room was heavily damaged by flames and smoke, and investigators found a match lying in front of the couch.