Deputies: Man calls 911 after setting fire


Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — Authorities say a convicted arsonist called 911 to report his neighbor's house was on fire and then sat in his yard, drinking beer as fire consumed the house.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about the fire in the New Smyrna Beach house early Wednesday. Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said James Bates told the dispatcher "the flames are going silly now."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports an investigation by the sheriff's office, the State Fire Marshal's Office and bloodhounds led to Bates, who was convicted in a series of arsons in 2012.

Haught says Bates eventually admitted to breaking into the home and setting fire to a stack of papers in the kitchen.

He faces first-degree arson and violation of probation charges.

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