Accused firebug hangs himself

On Aug. 24, a guard at the Butte County Jail making a routine check of inmates found James Kenneth Hough hanging from a sheet in his cell. Hough, 59, was a Yuba City soft-drink-plant manager who’d been accused of being a serial arsonist and charged with setting numerous fires in the Sierra foothills and around the Sutter Buttes. He was taken to Oroville Hospital, where he died the next day.

Hough was caught after he aroused the suspicion of fire investigators, who attached a GPS locator to his vehicle. He was charged with setting some 36 fires and suspected of starting many more since 2005. He reportedly used fireworks to ignite the blazes.