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.