Teen charged in East Rockingham fire

By William R. Toler - wtoler@civitasmedia.com


ROCKINGHAM — A teenager is facing felony charges for allegedly starting a structure fire that resulted in injuries for a firefighter.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 18-year-old Austin Kelligan set fire to an abandoned house on South Street in East Rockingham on Aug. 7.

Deputies haven’t released the exact cause of the fire yet, but say it appears to have been started inside the house.

An East Rockingham fireman was treated for heat-related injuries while fighting the fire, deputies say.

Kelligan was arrested Aug. 12 and charged with one felony count each of second-degree arson and arson or other unlawful burning resulting in serious injury to a firefighter or emergency medical technician.

He was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, Aug. 25.

Online records with the N.C. Court System and the N.C. Department of Public Safety show Kelligan has no other pending charges or previous convictions in the state.

Deputies say Kelligan is not currently suspected of being involved with any other recent house fires in East Rockingham. No arrests have been made in those cases.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.


By William R. Toler


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