Man arrested for arson, murder in connection to fatal Jackson County fire

Published: Jul. 4, 2021 at 10:46 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2021 at 9:16 AM CDT
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JACKSON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Update: The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Timothy Cooper on Friday night for arson and murder in connection to the July 4 Section fire.

Deputies say Cooper was the neighbor who ran out of the house naked. WAFF is told he was released from the hospital yesterday. They then obtained warrants for his arrest. This was a joint investigation with the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

Man arrested for arson, murder in connection to fatal Jackson County fire
Man arrested for arson, murder in connection to fatal Jackson County fire(Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

Orignal: Authorities have ruled a deadly Jackson County fire an arson investigation.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the State Fire Marshal rule arson as the cause of the fire Tuesday.

Crews in Jackson County responded to a structure fire at John Homes apartments in Section on Sunday morning.

Rocky Harnen with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said one person died in the fire around 4:40 a.m. The fire occurred on Sunset Drive at the government housing, according to officials.

Officials said three houses were destroyed in this fire. The sheriff’s office has identified 80-year-old Sharon Kay Tarver as the victim who died as a result of the fire.

A neighbor tells WAFF’s DeAndria Turner, he originally thought it was foggy outside until he got a little closer he smelled the fire and saw the damage.

“It was just nuts,” said neighbor Joe Eller.

Eller said he saw the apartment building engulfed in flames.

“The fire in the building kept flaring up. It would get put out here and then it would flare up through the roof over here,” said Eller.

Sheriff Harnen says the fire started in the middle unit and spread to the other two. A man ran out of the middle apartment and later returned, according to the sheriff’s office.

One neighbor is unable to spend the night in his bed as a result of all of this damage to his apartment. It’s the same neighbor who made the 911 call reporting the fire.

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