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FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007
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Fire wasn't enough to cover up burglary

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

A fire a Hartselle man set may have completely destroyed a mobile home, but it didn't cover up a burglary to the residence, a Morgan County sheriff's investigator said Thursday.

"We knew it was a burglary because there was stuff scattered in the yard," said Detective Jodie King. "Whoever did it left in a hurry. Like it had fallen out of a truck. It was scattered from the residence all the way down the road."

King said trail of items only went so far, but other evidence eventually led her to the 830 Springdale Road S.W. home of Andrew Keith Burch, where deputies found more property stolen from the mobile home.

"When I arrived at his residence, there was an item of the stolen property in plain view. There was a gas can and a kerosene can in the back of his truck, and he smelled like gas, lots of things that led me to get the search warrant," King said.

Burch, 19, had spoken to the mobile home's residents March 10, the day of the fire, King said.

"He was an associate of the daughter of the woman who owns the trailer.," King said.

"He had called and said he wanted to come over and see her daughter. He told them he was there at their trailer" but no one was home, King said.

Burch broke out a front window, climbed into the den and stole a TV, a radio, three heaters and jewelry, King said.

A short time later, Massey volunteer firefighters were battling a blaze that consumed the mobile home at 331 Gary Anders Road.

"They lost everything and they had no insurance. The trailer was a total loss," King said.

Burch admitted to investigators that he poured kerosene throughout the mobile home to accelerate the fire, King said.

King arrested Burch on charges of third-degree burglary, second-degree theft and second-degree arson.

He remained in the Morgan County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $2,500 bond.

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