Man Starts Fire at Memorial Medical Center Three Days After Release from Sangamon County Jail

Anthony J. Smith Jr. – Age 39

Springfield, Illinois – On December 3, 2023, Springfield Police were called to Memorial Medical Center to remove an individual. According to Memorial Medical Center, a man had started a fire in their bathroom.

According to Springfield Police, Anthony J. Smith Jr., 39, was arrested after Memorial Medical Center security reported he started a fire in the men’s restroom. An officer, upon arriving at Memorial Medical Center, entered the bathroom with heavy smoke damage. In the furthest stall, he observed a burnt, black toilet paper holder.

Smith was seen on camera entering the bathroom, and when another individual went to use the bathroom, they opened the men’s restroom door and advised that the bathroom had smoke all over. The same individual then went and alerted hospital staff of the fire.

Memorial Security Staff informed the police that their engineers estimated the damage caused by the fire, primarily to the toilet paper holder and drywall, to be around $5,000.

Anthony, whose address is listed as homeless, has been charged with Aggravated Arson, a class X felony, for starting the fire at the hospital while knowing people are inside the building. He was denied pre-trial release and remains in the Sangamon County Jail.

Records show that Smith was previously arrested on November 28, 2023, and charged with criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony. He was released on pre-trial release on November 30, 2023 – just three days before he set the fire at Memorial Medical Center. Additional records show that on August 13, 2023, he was arrested for criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony, and released later that month on a recognizance bond.

Smith’s next court date is set for December 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

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