Clark Makes First Court Appearance in Connection with Newcomb Hotel Fire
(Quincy, Ill)--The man accused of causing the fire that destroyed the Newcomb Hotel in Quincy made his first appearance in Adams County Court Tuesday morning.
Mathew Clark has been charged with burglary and criminal damage to property in excess of $100,000 as a result of the Sept. 6 blaze.
The Quincy Herald-Whig reports that Assistant State's Attorney Laura Keck says Clark admitted to being in the Newcomb building searching for scrap metal and accidentally setting the fire.
Keck said Clark told police that after his flashlight went out, he put papers in a bucket he found and set them on fire, in order to see. The fire started when Clark dropped the bucket on a blanket. He fled the building and did not report the fire.
Someone with the Quincy Housing Authority tipped police that Clark had fallen through the floor and hurt himself at the former hotel in August.
If convicted, Clark faces up to seven years in prison. Bond for Clark has been set at $200,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.