Accused arsonist arrested, again

Mugshot courtesy of Clark County Fire Department

For the past several months, residents of the Bunkerville area have lived on edge. Someone, likely a neighbor, was setting fire to various locations.

Thanks to the incredible fire departments in the area, Clark County, Mesquite and Beaver Dam, no one has been injured or killed in any of the incidents.

While no official count of arsons tied to one suspect has been publicly made, documents have been obtained from the Clark County District Attorney’s office stating that several fires have been linked to Thomas Blaine Bowler, a resident of Bunkerville.

Bowler was first arrested on June 17 by Clark County Fire Department Police Officer Linda Poe, after being investigated and followed. One of the fires he was charged with is the one on June 13 at 222 First South St. in Bunkerville. He also admitted to three other fires that occurred on June 15. His charges at that time were one count each of First and Third Degree Arson.

Bowler was released on bail from Clark County Detention Center a day or two later. Information on his release was unavailable due to the quick turnaround in processing.

In short, first degree arson relates to any building or personal property that may or may not be lived in. Third degree relates to unoccupied property or shrubs and brush.

With Thursday’s fire behind Hafen Park, which totaled 13.4 acres and utilized over 120 personnel from four fire agencies, Bowler was arrested once again on scene, according to eyewitnesses.

A statement released by Clark County Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan confirmed that his arrest on July 7 was related to a separate incident, but would not confirm that Bowler was responsible for the Hafen Park Fire.

In all, Bowler faces a single count of first degree arson and five counts of third degree arson.

“The Clark County Fire Department (CCFD) rural division, CCFD investigators, Mesquite Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) have been working together on the investigation of these incidents that have taken place in Mesquite and Bunkerville,” said Buchanan. “This was a large multi-jurisdictional effort that required tremendous coordination and is an example of the support (and strong partnerships) shared among public safety agencies in Southern Nevada.”

Witnesses on scene at the Hafen Park fire claim that Bowler tried to escape from authorities and sustained minor injuries, but refused treatment at a hospital.

A review of CCDC’s inmate list shows that Bowler is being held without bail. His court appearance is scheduled for July 11 at 8 a.m.


  1. cassey creech says:

    This guy is either evil or has a true sickness, that being an obsession with fire. That he was already caught once and did it again, hanging around the fire to watch it either indicates an obsession, or a blatant middle finger to firefighters.

  2. Steve Clutterham says:

    Much thanks to all involved. Let’s see if we can’t keep this guy off the street for awhile. He must like the food at CCDC. Nice article Stephanie.

  3. Mark Schaffer says:

    “Bowler was released on bail from Clark County Detention Center a day or two later. Information on his release was unavailable due to the quick turnaround in processing”

    Bowler’s release was an obvious error on the part of the County Detention Center or whatever Judge or authority who clearly placed the public’s safety last, as he clearly poses an immediate and deliberate threat to all the citizens of Virgin Valley! Keep this person behind bars, and prevent him from killing someone!

  4. Maggie Calhoun says:

    Thanks for the steady, prompt and clear coverage, Stephanie. You and MLN are appreciated. Your stories help us be aware of and more vigilant about threats in our community. With gratitude, Maggie

  5. Kenzie Spencer says:

    It clearly just stated he wasn’t arrested for the Hafen park fire, but a different incident. Read more carefully. He didn’t stick around to watch the fire, because he didn’t start it. He was being followed by police, they would have stopped him before starting the fire if that was in fact his intention. Use your common sense people, unless of course you don’t have any, then by all means continue judging a man and a situation you know nothing about.

    • Steve Clutterham says:

      It doesn’t say he didn’t start this fire, just that he was not charged with it at the time. He has already confessed to enough fires to be considered very dangerous and probably in need of incarceration and/or serious help. By the tone of your response, I am guessing you are very close tot he situation, possibly even related.

      • Mark Schaffer says:

        “With Thursday’s fire behind Hafen Park, which totaled 13.4 acres and utilized over 120 personnel from four fire agencies, Bowler was arrested once again ON SCENE, according to eyewitnesses”.

  6. Barbara Julius Welker says:

    Scary headlines we’ve seen it all, from large scale to small scale, from international terrorism to the breakdown of individual families. Innocent people, even children, are not spared. Why do these things happen? Sometimes we think our trials come because we did something wrong. *People call Karma* That’s not always true. Adversity is simply part of earth life. From it we can grow and progress if we choose too. Yes, some trials come because of our own disobedience, but many trials are simply part of life.God already knows what we’re made of, but perhaps He wants us to learn what we’re made of. I think we would all agree that we learn more from our tough times than from our easy times. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We don’t know the meaning of all things, but we know God loves His children! And because He loves us, He will never desert us. To the families of Thomas I hope you find ALL the strength you will need to get behind this. And for those judging let it go. It’s between the courts and Thomas at this point. If it was your family you would be there for them too I would hope.

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