DeKalb man charged with arson in Hometown Sports Bar and Grill fire


Julio Ceja | Northern Star

The damage from the back porch of Hometown Sports Bar and Grill is blocked by yellow tape.

By Yari Tapia, News Reporter

DeKALBRobert Warren, 28-year-old DeKalb resident, was arrested and charged with arson, burglary and retail theft on Oct. 10 for setting fire to the back porch of Hometown Sports Bar and Grill, 241 E. Lincoln Highway.

Warren was charged with arson for setting a 2016 Toyota Camry, at 121 Carroll Ave., on fire the same day, Oct. 8. The damage of the porch and the vehicle was above $150, according to court records.

Warren was charged with burglary for forcibly entering and stealing items from a BP gas station, 920 W. Lincoln Highway, on Oct. 8. Warren was also charged with retail theft for stealing alcohol from Molly’s, 1000 W. Lincoln Highway.

Warren admitted to using accelerants to set fire to the porch and the vehicle, according to court records. Police said that Warren committed arson due to a personal vendetta. 

The DeKalb Fire Department received a call at 6:33 a.m. Friday of a fire in the back porch of Hometown Sports Bar and Grill.

“When our crews got on scene they observed a fully engulfed porch on the back exterior of the business,” Fire Chief Jeff McMaster said. “Two engine companies obtained the water supply from a fire hydrant and they pulled fire lines to extinguish the fire; simultaneously our truck company entered the business through the front side to search for any victims and check for any fire extension.”

The fire was contained to the outside of the business, however the porch was destroyed. There was no fire extension to the inside of the building, just small damage, McMaster said. The business will remain open. 

The fire department is investigating what was the cause and origin of the fire.

There were no injuries to any civilians.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 to include additional details of the investigation.