Arson is a serious crime against property and persons. In Tennessee, state laws regard arson as a Class C felony with sentences ranging from 3-15 years and fines up to $10,000. Persons convicted of Aggravated arson face prison time of 15-60 years and up to $50,000 in fines.
The Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.)
(a) A person commits an offense who knowingly damages any structure by means of a fire or explosion:
(1) Without the consent of all persons who have a possessory, proprietary or security interest therein; or
(2) With intent to destroy or damage any structure to collect insurance for the damage or destruction or for any unlawful purpose.
(b) (1) Arson is a Class C felony.
(2) (A) Arson of a place of worship is a Class B felony.
(B) As used in this subdivision (b)(2), "place of worship" means any structure that is:
(i) Approved, or qualified to be approved, by the state board of equalization for property tax exemption pursuant to § 67-5-212, based on ownership and use of the structure by a religious institution; and
(ii) Utilized on a regular basis by such religious institution as the site of congregational services, rites or activities communally undertaken for the purpose of worship.
39-14-302. Aggravated arson.
(a) A person commits aggravated arson who commits arson as defined in § 39-14-301 or § 39-14-303:
(1) When one (1) or more persons are present therein; or
(2) When any person, including firefighters and law enforcement officials, suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the fire or explosion.
(b) Aggravated arson is a Class A felony.
39-14-303. Setting fire to personal property or land.
(a) A person commits arson who knowingly damages any personal property, land, or other property, except buildings or structures covered under § 39-14-301, by means of a fire or explosion:
(1) Without the consent of all persons who have a possessory or proprietary interest therein; or
(2) With intent to destroy or damage any such property for any unlawful purpose.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class E felony.
39-14-304. Reckless burning.
(a) A person commits reckless burning who:
(1) Recklessly starts a fire on the land, building, structure or personal property of another;
(2) Starts a fire on the person's own land, building, structure or personal property and recklessly allows the fire to escape and burn the property of another; or
(3) Knowingly starts an open air or unconfined fire in violation of a burning ban as provided in § 39-14-306(b).
(b) Reckless burning is a Class A misdemeanor.
39-14-305. Leaving fire near woodland unattended.
(a) It is unlawful for any person who originates or uses an open fire to leave that fire unattended without totally extinguishing the same within one hundred fifty feet (150') of forest or woodlands or within one hundred fifty feet (150') of other inflammable material, the setting fire to which inflammable material would naturally and proximately result in the fire being conveyed to forest or woodlands.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.