On Friday, at around 12:15 p.m., Mason County Judge Jerry Bearden announced that authorities had taken a man into custody outside of Mason County following a “slow pursuit”.
Authorities are now planning on questioning the individual regarding two fires that occurred Thursday night which appear to have been the result of arson.
The Mason County Courthouse fire started around 10 p.m. Thursday, and by 1:30 a.m., Bearden said the only thing that was left was the courthouse’s outer rock wall structure.
Fire crews also responded to a nearby house fire 1.2 miles away on Ranck Avenue around the same time as the courthouse fire.
Authorities now believe the fires are connected. Bearden said, “We’re going to investigate everything.”
Multiple fire departments responded including the Mason and Llano volunteer fire departments. A fire marshal was on the scene Friday morning.
The courthouse had been preparing for renovations and all county records and documents had been relocated last December.
The Mason County Courthouse was built in 1910, and is the county’s third courthouse. The county’s first two courthouses burned down prior to 1909. Bearden said that the building was often referred to as the “grand old lady.”