Granite Falls man sentenced to serve at least 7 years for setting fire to apartment

Photo: 25th District Attorney's Office

A Granite Falls man has been sentenced to serve at least seven years in prison for setting an apartment on fire last March. 

Timothy Allan Harmon, 34, will serve seven to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty and was convicted of first-degree arson and first-degree kidnapping on Monday, March 5.

Harmon will serve his prison term at the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Evidence gathered through an investigation by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Caldwell County Fire Marshal's Office showed that Harmon set fire to the apartment of the victim at Oak Tree Lane Apartments in Sawmills on March 9, 2017.

The victim of the kidnapping and fire allowed the Harmon to live with him in his apartment. Harmon made claims that someone was trying to kill him and set him up to appear to be a drug dealer, and made statements to the victim that he would burn the apartment if he was reported to law enforcement.

The victim did not believe the statements. However, when he came home from work on March 9, 2017, Harmon was intoxicated and an argument ensued. Harmon then locked the front door of the apartment, pushed a couch in front of it and began breaking items. The victim escaped by jumping from a two-story balcony and ran to a neighbor's apartment. When they came outside, flames could be seen coming from the victim's apartment.

Sawmills Fire and Rescue responded and extinguished the fire. All occupants of the apartment building escaped and were unharmed. The investigation showed the fire was started in the back bedroom of the apartment.