BARDWELL — Witnesses reported seeing a person matching the description of a Kaufman resident running away from a vehicle shortly after it caught fire on Dec. 12. The Ellis County Fire Marshal Office has since arrested that individual, identified as 30-year-old Kevin Gibbons, on the charge of arson.

Members of the Bardwell Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched at 6:39 p.m. to the 100 block of Italy St where firefighters were able to extinguish a lit 2003 Chevrolet Impala and kept it from spreading to the residence. The vehicle, at the time of the fire, was parked outside in the driveway.

“There was a strong smell of an ignitable liquid, and the volunteer fire department picked up on that as well. We have several witnesses that saw him at the vehicle, saw the fire and saw him running from the vehicle,” Ellis County Fire Marshal Tim Birdwell said. “We have a good solid case against him, and I am hoping that we are going to get a conviction out of this.”

Birdwell said samples from the fire have been sent to the state fire marshal’s office and are being analyzed. He is hoping to hear back from them shortly.

According to online records from the Wayne McCollum Detention Center, Gibbons was booked into the jail at 3:51 p.m. on Dec. 22. He remains in custody on a $50,000 bond as of noon on Thursday.

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