Man faces felony arson charge after trying to set West Knoxville hotel room on fire


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man is facing a felony aggravated arson charge after trying to set his hotel room on fire Wednesday.

PREVIOUS STORY: Police identify suspected arsonist in Knoxville Holiday Inn fire

The Knoxville Fire Department was dispatched around 8:15 a.m. to the Holiday Inn on Executive Park Drive in West Knoxville for an activated fire alarm and reports of smoke.

Robert Hunter

An investigator was dispatched to Room 304 where they found exposed burnt cables and outlet covers. A mass of straw behind a vanity mirror and more signs of attempted ignition were also found.

Robert Hunter, 56, had checked into the room Tuesday evening. The investigator checked Hunter’s vehicle finding straw consistent with that found in the room.

A consensual search of Hunter’s jacket found multiple propane torches.

Hunter was arrested and booked into the Knox County Jail on a $40,000 bond.

There were no injuries to the 72 guests at the hotel at the time. The hotel manager estimated the total damage to be at $30,000.


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