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Eric Eugene Holland
Courtesy of Morganton Public Safety

Homeless Man Charged With Failing To Flee Fire, Felony Drug Offense

59-year-old Eric Eugene Holland, who is listed as a homeless man from Morganton, was arrested Tuesday (March 21) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine) and misdemeanor resist, delay, or obstruct a public officer.

Shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Morganton Department of Public Safety received a smoke investigation call coming from behind a business on Morganton Heights Boulevard. Upon officer’s arrival, a large cloud of black smoke was showing and appeared to be coming from the woods behind the business.

Further investigation showed that a homeless camp site was fully involved and actively burning. There were multiple camp sites around this location that were in close proximity to the fire. Citizens who were still inside the neighboring tents were evacuated. While evacuating, two individuals in a neighboring tent refused to leave after being asked multiple times.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and they ensured everyone was out. While they were attempting to obtain information from the two citizens who refused to leave, Eric Eugene Holland was arrested. He reportedly refused to give officers his information for reporting purposes before resisting arrest.

Holland was arrested and charged and received a secured bond of $4,999.01. He is not listed as an inmate in Burke County today (March 22). A District Court date is scheduled Thursday (March 23).