A Salley man whose home burned down on Christmas Eve has been charged with setting the fire, according to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
Tony Thompson Jr., 41, was charged with third-degree arson and placed in the Aiken County detention center, where he remained on Wednesday morning.
Thompson is accused of setting fire to his Poplar Street home on Dec. 24, 2013, according to Capt. Eric Abdullah, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
No one was home at the time of the blaze that destroyed the home, according to previous reports.
Thompson was reportedly at his mother’s home in Perry along with his three children when the fire broke out.
“I had been there about an hour and a half or so, when I got phone call from a neighbor in Salley,” Thompson told the Aiken Standard in December. “It was a little bit after 11 o’clock at night, and he wanted to know if anybody was in the house. I said, ‘No. Why?’ He said, ‘The house is on fire.’ I went down to Salley, and by the time I got there, the house was pretty much gone.”
Thompson was arrested on Tuesday without incident.
The Salley Department of Public Safety responded to the fire, but the investigation was turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.
Abdullah said the investigation has revealed that the fire was intentionally set.
Abdullah could not comment where in the home or how the fire was set.
Thompson and his three children received an outpouring of support from the community and beyond.
He told reporters they had received assistance from people as far away as Arizona and New York.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.