An investigation into a building fire will continue after investigators reveal that someone purposely started the blaze. According to Fire Marshal Jason Talton, the Oden Music Building that caught fire early Wednesday morning has been ruled as arson.
While firefighters were responding to the fire, the roof collapsed, sending three firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries. The Oden Music Company was in business for nearly 70 years after closing its doors in February of 2018. Arson in Alabama can carry a sentence of up to life in prison.
Nearly 12 hours before the building fire, Jason Oden, owner of Oden Music Company, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge for first degree Theft of Property. According to WEIS Radio, All Saints Catholic Church bought a church organ for more than $22,000 from the Oden Music Company in 2016. The church never received the organ.
Oden was ordered to pay restitution to the church and to the insurance company in addition to a $30,000 fine. Although the judge credited Oden for time served in the amount of 461 days, he still has several theft charges pending in Etowah and Calhoun Counties in addition to outstanding warrants in Marshall County.