Garbage Can Fire Maniac Finally Put Behind Bars

If you live in the Saunderson Heights area of Burlington, you may have noticed a heat wave of sorts. This is not due to some astronomical phenomena, but rather garbage cans and their contents lit on fire. A Burlington man has been arrested after three suspicious garbage can fires arose in this area.

The first incident was reported at approximately 3:18pm on September 27, 2023, in the alley between the 100 block of South Gunnison and the 100 block of South Marshall. A garbage can had been damaged by a fire within it.

The second incident occurred at approximately 11:45am on October 8th. A garbage can belonging to 127 S. Woodlawn was damaged after a fire started within.

The third incident occurred the morning of October 9th at approximately 7:26am. A fire was lit in a garbage can at 1406 Market which caused damage to the can.

During the investigation into all three fires, surveillance video was obtained which recorded video of the individual setting the fires. The suspect was the same man in all 3 videos, and he was identified as Larry Gilbert Sr.

Gilbert Sr. was located and interviewed regarding the fires. After the interview, detectives applied for arrest warrants charging Gilbert Sr. for setting the fires. He was then arrested on October 17th, on warrants regarding the fires.

Larry Joe Gilbert Sr., 73, of Burlington was charged with three counts of Reckless Use of Fire, an aggravated misdemeanor, and three counts of Criminal Mischief – 5th degree, a simple misdemeanor.

The Burlington Police Department was assisted in this investigation by the Burlington Fire Department.