ANTHONY, Kan. (KSNW) – Anthony police have arrested a man in a string of car and building fires.
Clifford Schmidt has been booked into the Harper County Detention Center on six counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.
“It’s bad, sure. It’s real bad,” said Tammy Hulett.
Tammy Hulett, 59, lives at the Redden’s Village Apartments in Anthony. In mid-June, Hulett and two of her neighbor’s vehicles went up in flames.
“Oh, it got burnt up. He caught it on fire. It went up in smoke, mine, another lady’s, his mother’s,” Hulett said.
Hulett said she and her neighbors lived in fear for weeks wondering when and where the next fire might break out.
“I had even went out and bought my own smoke detector in case the other one didn’t work,” she said.
However, what Hulett didn’t know was that the man accused of setting the fires was her next door neighbor. Schmidt was arrested on July 27 on suspicion of setting three cars on fire, one of which was his moms, setting fire to the apartment’s office building and setting fire to his mom’s apartment.
While on scene of the fires in June, Schmidt told KSN he wanted police to find the person responsible for the fires.
“It looks sort of like a war zone,” Schmidt said. “Whoever did it, I hope they catch them.”
Schmidt’s brother Branden Mulvaney talked to KSN on Monday about Schmidt’s arrest. Mulvaney said he was shocked to find out Schmidt was allegedly behind the fires.
“Everybody does things stupid, but against your own family. I have never done anything against my own family and that to me is just wrong, totally wrong, terribly wrong,” said Mulvaney.
Mulvaney said while he’s disappointed in his brother, he is relieved someone has been caught for the fires.
“I was just glad it was over. Thank God it’s done so I can go back to being normal,” Mulvaney said. “I’m glad they put him in jail.”
Anthony police said they found evidence linking Schmidt to the crimes via phone and computer records. Schmidt has not yet been charged.