On December 26, 2019, at 9:19 p.m., the Boone Fire Department and the Boone Police Department responded to an uninhabited house fire located at 651 Old East King Street. It was determined that an unknown suspect set multiple fires within the structure. This structure had been vacant for the last four years and was a common area for homeless individuals to be found sleeping and taking shelter from the weather.
Upon completion of the joint investigation between the Boone Fire Department and Boone Police Department and collection of several pieces of evidence, it was determined that Bobby Allen Pennington, 41, of Ashe County was the primary suspect. Detective Corporal Candace Burlingame, of the Boone Police Department, located Mr. Pennington who was in custody at the Ashe County Dentition Facility on a parole violation for Burning of Personal Property and Calling in a False Bomb Report on a Public Building.
After Detective Corporal Burlingame’s interview, Pennington was served with an arrest warrant on January 7, 2020, at the Ashe County Detention Center. Pennington was charged with one count of felony Burning an Uninhabited House, and one count of misdemeanor Breaking and Entering. Pennington was taken before an Ashe County Magistrate, who issued him a court date of February 14, 2020, and he is being held under a $30,000 secured bond.
This case is still under further investigation along with three other suspected arson cases within the last 6 months. This case is a great example of how well the fire investigators with the Boone Fire Department and general detectives of the Boone Police Department worked together for one common goal. Both departments have several other arson cases under investigation and are asking that if you know anything about these additional arson cases that you contact the Boone Police with any additional information.