Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Arrogant Arsonist 

Carey York is a retired fire chief who owns a warehouse that is burned by an arsonist and kills a clerk. A TV reporter accuses York of setting the fire. York hires Perry to sue for libel but York is charged when the reporter is killed.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Perry Mason
Della Street (credit only)
Paul Drake
Hamilton Burger
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Lt. Andy Anderson
Tommy Towne
Ross Walker
Wynn Pearce ...
Sylvia Gwynne
Farrell Moorefield
Captain Hillman
Connie Cezon ...


When a warehouse belonging to retired former fire chief Carey York goes up in flames, killing the manager inside, muckraking talk show host Tommy Towne goes on the air and accuses York of setting the fire for insurance purposes. Fire starting materials were found in York's car at the fire. York and the current deputy fire chief go to Perry and ask him to represent him in a libel suit against Towne. Perry demands a retraction from Towne if he cannot prove his earlier accusation. However, when it is found that one of the items destroyed in the fire was a coil winding machine belonging to a business competitor of York's son Dorian, Towne in a prerecorded session instead publicly accuses York of starting the fire to save his son's business. Just after this accusation airs, Towne is found dead after going down a cliff in York's car. York is charged with arson and murder and Perry defends him by proving his innocence outside court. Written by rbecker28

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 March 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Della is not in this episode. Perry tells Gertie she is visiting her aunt. See more »


Right after they have been scuba diving, Paul and Dorian still have dry hair. See more »


[first lines]
Otto Joseph: [on phone] Yes. Yes, darling. I know it's Sunday and I know I promised to take you out for dinner, but I cannot help myself. Yes. Elaine, please understand, your father is still a stranger in this country, a poor stranger who has to work and work hard for a living. Business here is bad. Very bad. I'm worried. I try only to help. You understand? Yeah. Yes, Elaine, I,ll try to finish the paperwork early. Then perhaps we still can go out. Good-bye. Good-bye, my baby.
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User Reviews

Why was Tom Tully's warehouse torched?
10 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

Pushy and mouthy talk show host Frank Aletter who has it in for former Fire Chief Tom Tully whom he held responsible for not saving his house. Now there's been an arson fire and it's at a warehouse that Tully owns and he's said on the air that Tully torched his own place. That wins him a slander suit for which Tully has retained Perry Mason. Oh, incidentally the night watchman was killed in the arson.

But then Tully gets arrested when Aletter is found at the bottom of a canyon in Tully's car and dead before it hit the bottom. That's when Tom Tully really needs Raymond Burr.

One of the shortest courtroom sequences in the history is in this area, where Raymond Burr puts on no defense at the hearing and the judge orders Tully bound over for trial. To William Talman's befuddlement, but Burr has it in mind to get the real culprit to implicate himself outside the courtroom.

That involves the real killer briefly holding Perry Mason hostage and then fleeing another waterfront warehouse. The Perry Mason Show gets a bit of unexpected action not in the courtroom.

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