Food City Employee Charged With Setting Fires Near Hixson Store

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Randall Louis Daniels
Randall Louis Daniels

An employee of the Food City at 8530 Hixson Pike has been charged with setting two fires near the store.

Randall Louis Daniels, 21, of 801 Ely Road, is charged with arson and vandalism.

Police responded on Sunday to a dumpster fire, finding the trash bin fully engulfed in flames. It was located five feet from the Food City business complex.

The fire department responded to put out the fire. Officials said there did not appear to be any visible damage to the building, but thermal imaging equipment showed an extreme hot spot on an outer wall.

Randall Spencer, owner of Dominos Pizza, said he smelled smoke and went out to find a pair of tennis shoes on fire up against the building. He then went around the corner and spotted the dumpster fire.

Police said video showed a white male around the dumpster and by where the tennis shoes were placed. Food City officials identified the man as Daniels.

He had finished his shift around noon, about 25 minutes before the fires were reported.

Daniels, who was located at Walgreens, admitted setting the dumpster fire, but denied setting the tennis shoes on fire.

He told police he had been having a difficult time lately. He said, since he was a child, one way he coped was by setting fires.

He said he had started the dumpster fire after gathering up some pine needles.

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