Columbus Man Arrested In Connection With House Fire

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A Columbus man was arrested in connection with a Nelsonville house fire that investigators said was purposely set.

Kirk Wilhite, 33, was arrested on Nov. 15, on an Athens County warrant for aggravated arson and burglary and a search warrant was executed on his home.

The fire was reported Nov. 3 at a cabin at 355 Whites Road, according to Sheriff Rodney Smith.

Investigators “were able to determine the home was burglarized and purposely set on fire,” a release from the sheriff’s office stated.

Evidence was collected from the scene and stolen property was found in Athens County, which helped detectives identify a possible suspect.

“Further investigating led ACSO detectives to Columbus for possibly more evidence linked to Kirk Wilhite,” the release stated.

Columbus Police Department detectives assisted in the investigation and a search warrant was executed at an apartment complex on Smith Place in Columbus, where Wilhite was reportedly living.

Wilhite was arrested by Bellefountaine police and detectives from that department seized stolen credit cards, narcotics and a computer. The evidence was then release to Athens County detectives.

Further charges could be filed against Wilhite by an Athens County grand jury, the release stated. Smith did not elaborate on the other charges.