A Tuscaloosa man has been charged with felony arson after investigators determined he intentionally set a fire that devastated a local daycare in October.

The charges stem from a blaze at the Fun*tastic Tots Academy on Highway 69 South on October 28th, 2021.

As the Tuscaloosa Thread previously reported, the daycare building was almost entirely engulfed in flames during a pre-dawn fire that morning.

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The building was empty at the time of the fire, but heavily damaged by the conflagration.

Now, five months after the fire, investigators have determined a Tuscaloosa man was responsible for the blaze.

The suspect, 44-year-old Robert Clayton Hoggle, and a friend reportedly did some maintenance work at the daycare a few weeks before the fire.

On the morning of the blaze, police found a Chevy Equinox abandoned in front of the burning building that was reportedly registered to Hoggle's mother.

Further investigation, including searches of phone GPS data, allegedly showed a single cellular device in the area which was ultimately found to belong to Hoggle.

Earlier this week, the Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Service's Fire Marshal's Office obtained a warrant to charge Hoggle with second-degree arson, a Class B felony, for allegedly setting the fire.

The Tuscaloosa man was also charged with first-degree theft of property, third-degree burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia this week for incidents unrelated to the fire.

Hoggle remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Friday morning on a combined $41,000 bond. Although jail and court records indicate he is still an inmate, his mugshot was not publicly available Friday morning.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing and additional charges may follow. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates if they become publicly available.

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