TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Edgecombe County deputies said they have arrested a man who set several homes on fire and led them on a chase.

Early Saturday morning, deputies said they received several calls about vacant homes on fire in an area of the county between Tarboro and Pinetops.

When they arrived, they searched the area.

Another caller said they saw a vehicle leaving one of the homes and provided its description.

While searching the area, a Pinetops police officer said they saw the vehicle near Wiggins Cross Road and followed it until deputies arrived.

They initiated a traffic stop which led to a chase, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said the chase went on for several miles and ended in the driver fleeing on foot.

After catching him, deputies said they arrested 54-year-old Charles Wade Newell.

Newell is charged with:

  • Five counts of second-degree arson
  • Felony flee to elude
  • Driving while impaired
  • Reckless driving to endanger

He was taken to the Edgecombe County Detention Center under a $510,000 bond.

The sheriff’s office said the SBI is assisting with the investigation.