Bond set in alleged arson

A $25,000 bond was set Monday for a White Hall man who allegedly set fire to a house where his mother and others lived.

Joshua Chase, 20, is the accused. Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set the bond after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge Chase with arson.

An estimated $40,000 in damage was done to the house as a result of the fire, according to a probable cause affidavit from White Hall police Sgt. John Zuber.

Police and fire department personnel were sent at 11:49 p.m. Friday to 502 Huckleberry St. in White Hall. When Officer Chris Drye arrived, he reported seeing Chase with a garden hose walking up the steps to a second-story entrance.

The fire burned a room over the garage and flames went through the roof, causing a large hole in it and major damage.

Zuber said in the affidavit that police had been to the house earlier that day in reference to a disturbance involving Chase, and he was arrested on an active warrant from Wabbaseka and taken to the adult detention center, where he was released because of jail overcrowding.

A witness told police Chase had set fire to the house and he was arrested at that time.

Zuber said in the affidavit that when he interviewed Chase at the jail, Chase said he walked back to the house from the jail because he couldn’t get a ride and tried to get into his room but the door was locked and he did not have a key.

Chase also allegedly said there were boards on a window and he tried to pull the boards off but when that was unsuccessful, he took charcoal lighter fluid, poured it on the boards and set them afire, hoping that would loosen the boards enough so that he could pull them off. He said the resulting fire got out of control before he could do anything.

In addition to setting the bond, Kearney ordered Chase to have no contact with his mother or other family members until the case is settled.