Police: Investigation into strangulation led to mall arsonist's - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Police: Investigation into strangulation led to mall arsonist's arrest

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Fred Anderson Phillips, Jr., 52 Fred Anderson Phillips, Jr., 52
GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A Gastonia man has been arrested and charged in an arson investigation that began in March, according to the Gaston County Police Department.

On March 14, police responded Gunn's Carpet & Flooring on Old York Road, in reference to a commercial fire and to assist fire units.

The fire destroyed the building and an investigation was started by the Gaston County Fire Marshal's Office and the Gaston County Police Department to determine a cause. The area of origin was located in an adjacent storage building behind the main building, housing the flooring business, officials told WBTV.

Police say they were able to name a suspect, Fred Anderson Phillips, Jr., 52, from an unrelated domestic investigation. Phillips was interviewed as a result of the investigation, and told investigators about his involvement in the fire.

He was charged with burning a building, warehouse, or factory and malicious use of incendiary material. He was also charged with assault by strangulation as an upgraded charge for the unrelated domestic investigation.

Phillips is being held in the Gaston County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

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