Serial arsonist previously threatened to burn building

COTTONWOOD, Calif. - 51-year-old Timothy Paul Hawkins is under arrest after admitting to setting a series of fires in Cottonwood Thursday. And looking at Shasta County court documents, this isn't the first time that Hawkins has had trouble with the law.

Last month Hawkins was arrested by Redding police after threatening to burn down the Ross Dress For Less in Redding. In a report the officer who arrested him also claimed the man threatened his life and made racist remarks.

Hawkins was spotted at the Sandy's Specialties doughnut shop on Main Street around 10:30 a.m. where Firefighters were called after reports of a fire in the bathroom. People at the doughnut shop tried putting out the fire themselves, but were unable.

Firefighters on the scene noticed smoke nearby on Chestnut Street caused by a fire in an outbuilding that spread to grass and brush. Luckily, that fire was put out before it spread.

Just as crews finished mopping the second fire up a third fire ignited in an outbuilding attached to a home on Trade Way.

Fire crews rushed over, but not before the structure sustained serious damage. Two dogs escaped from the home; firefighters were able to pull three more dogs from the flames. One of the three dogs was resuscitated, another dog didn't make it.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office joined in the hunt for the suspect implementing the use of a helicopter and a K9. Hawkins was arrested a short time later and admitted to setting the fire.

As he was arrested he screamed, "Wallflower, burn the town down." Hawkins continued to yell while being taken into custody to be questioned by detectives and firefighters.

Fire crews there said they hadn't encountered the man before.

During the arrest, investigators found an attempt to set a fourth fire at another building in the area. Deputies said no one was hurt.

The total loss was nearly $200,000.

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