Federal Charges for Hospital Arsonist

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

June 8, 2005

Surveillance cameras caught the man suspected of igniting two blazes at the hospital. A former UVA employee faced federal charges today. He is accused of setting two fires at the hospital back in March. Federal officials are also investigating whether Curtis Hill could be responsible for over a dozen additional fires at the hospital over the past four years.

The U.S. Grand Jury indicted Curtis Hill today on two counts of destroying federal property by means of fire and explosives.

Assistant US Attorney Tim Heaphy explained, "Both fires were in the old hospital. In restrooms in the old hospital. Both were set in trashcans; they were essentially matches dropped into trash receptacles inside the bathrooms of the hospital."

Hill confessed to setting the two fires at UVA Hospital's West Complex on March 9th and 10th after surveillance video captured him coming out of both restrooms at the time of the fires.

"Subsequent to that there's been some lab work done on actual matches that were found in the trash cans and there was chemical composition of the match from the March 10th fire consistent with matches that were in his pocket when he was arrested on that date," said Heaphy.

Federal officials are investigating whether Hill is responsible for 17 additional fires at UVA Hospital since 2002. All the arsons started shortly after Hill was terminated from his custodial position at the hospital.

Hill was previously charged with two counts of arson in an Albemarle court in April. Those charges will be dropped so that Hill can stand trial in federal court. If convicted Hill could face up to 40 years in prison.

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