DUFF—An arson in the Duff community last Wednesday was likely retaliatory in nature, according to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.
Just before 9 p.m. June 5, Deputy Ty Daugherty was on patrol in the area when he realized the home at 412 Duff Road was on fire. The back of the home was already engulfed, according to the report.
At the same time, a call came into the Campbell County E-911 center about an alleged drunk driver in LaFollette, who reportedly hit three vehicles, including a LaFollette Police Department cruiser.
The driver of the car—as well as one of two passengers—was reportedly intoxicated, deputy records indicated.
Beyond intoxication, the duo, identified as Sheila Havens and Danny Atrican, also had severe burns on their arms and legs.
A third person in the car, Havens’ 80-year-old mother was unharmed and was described in deputy reports as an “innocent third party.”
As the investigation unfolded, police reportedly linked Havens and Atrican to the house fire in Duff. Authorities believe the pair suffered burns while igniting the fire with gasoline.
The victim reportedly told police that Havens had been making threats to harm her and burn her house down. Witnesses reportedly told police they had seen a blue Toyota van drive by the home very slowly earlier that day.
Police believe the arson was retaliation for what Havens said was damage done to her property earlier in the week.
The state bomb and arson investigators are looking into the crime. Arson is typically the hardest crime to solve, according to Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Aaron Evans.
Havens and Atrican were sent to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s burn unit.
They are currently in a step-down unit and charges will be brought against them.
“We have enough evidence and pieces of the puzzle to make a good prosecution,” Evans said.