TIMELINE: Alleged Madison County arsonist set 10 fires in under 3 hours


(WHNT) — Law enforcement officials are investigating 10 fires that happened at businesses across Madison County on Saturday night.

According to Huntsville Police, the City of Madison, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, one suspect, 24-year-old Nicholas Tremaine Hubbert, is in custody in connection with all of the fires across the county. He was booked into the Madison County Jail at 1 a.m. Sunday and charged with arson by Huntsville Police.

Police say the alleged arsonist acted alone, and managed to set fire to the businesses in a 17 mile radius in less than three hours.

News 19 is working to compile a timeline of the fires authorities believe Hubbert intentionally set at the following 10 locations (all in Huntsville, unless otherwise noted):

  • Plato’s Closet, located at 4851 Whitesburg Drive
  • McDonald’s, located at 1795 U.S. Highway 72 East
  • Dollar General, located at 125 Winchester Road Northeast
  • Kroger, located at 6070 Moores Mill Road
  • Walmart, located at 6140 University Drive
    • Huntsville Fire dispatched to Walmart at 5:20 p.m.
  • Publix, 8000 Madison Boulevard, Madison
    • Madison Fire dispatched to Publix at 6:02 p.m.
  • Champy’s Chicken, 8020 Madison Boulevard, MadisonMadison Fire notified at 6:08 p.m. (same shopping complex as Publix)
  • Aldi, located at 2125 Winchester Road Northeast
    • New Market Volunteer Fire dispatched to Aldi as a mutual aide to Huntsville Fire at 6:46 p.m.
  • Dollar General, 1604 Winchester Road, Huntsville
    • Huntsville Fire saw the building on fire and combined the call for help around 6:46 p.m.
    • Moores Mill Fire dispatched to the blaze around 6:46 p.m.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods, located at 2718 Carl T. Jones Drive Southeast
    • Huntsville Fire responded at 8:30 p.m. but say it may not have been the last fire set
    • Employees were able to put out the fire before firefighters arrived

“[It’s] very fortunate we were able to identify early on what was going on,” said Huntsville Fire Marshal Dan Wilkerson. “This was an effort initially started with our 911 center and our dispatchers.

Law enforcement says they are not aware of a connection between the suspect and the businesses where the fires occurred.

“None of the fire scenes I visited looked like it was a total loss,” Wilkerson said. “The majority of them we were able to keep the damage minimal. The occupants of the buildings are to be commended for identifying what was going on, documenting what they were seeing and also intervening with fire extinguishers to limit the damage.”

The map below shoes the locations of the fires with blue representing Huntsville agencies, red for the City of Madison, and orange is Madison County:

According to Huntsville Police, the City of Madison, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, one suspect, 24-year-old Nicholas Tremaine Hubbert, is in custody in connection with all of the fires across the county.

Authorities say while no one was injured in the fires listed above, the businesses affected sustained varying levels of damage.

Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brent Patterson stated that the Sheriff’s Office believes Hubbert acted alone; when questioning Hubbert, he told investigators he felt led to set the fires.

Patterson says MCSO plans on charging Hubbert with the fire at a second Dollar General on Winchester Road, but he doesn’t know when the warrant will be issued.

Monday afternoon, Madison City officials told News 19 Hubbert set two fires at Champy’s Chicken and a Publix in a shopping complex near the intersection of Shelton Road and Madison Boulevard as well.

Madison Fire spokesman Ryan Gentry confirmed the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office and the City of Huntsville were investigating those fires as well.

His bond for the Huntsville charges is issued for $60,000.

According to Madison Probate records, Hubbert appeared before the court June 15th of last year and was committed to the Alabama Department of Mental Health for an undetermined amount of time.

Hubbert was also issued two speeding tickets in 2021. One was issued in Madison County for driving 94 miles an hour in a 70 mile and hour zone. Hubbert was also issued a ticket in Green County for driving 85 miles an hour in a 55 mile an hour zone.

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