He and his children lived with his fiancée, Bobbie Mayfield, in a house in the Dana Road area of Warrior. During April and May a total of 14 suspicious fires damaged homes in Warrior and western Birmingham. Thornton bragged to Mayfield of setting fires in houses he believed were being used by drug dealers near his workplace at the West Precinct in Ensley. In two of those arsons, fellow officer Jason Arnold and a third man, Anthony Weaver were also indicted.
Thornton was also accused of setting fires in vacant houses near his home, two of which were owned by his prospective father-in-law, Godfrey Chryssoverges. His wife testified that he had also attempted to set fire to their own home by lighting a stack of Thrifty Nickel newspapers in the crawlspace.
During the arson investigation, police also discovered alleged pornographic materials depicting minors on Thornton's computer and he was charged separately for that crime.
- 2nd degree arson at 478 Dana Drive on April 11, 2012
- 2nd degree arson at 480 Dana Road on April 19
- Attempted second-degree arson at 470 Dana Road on May 1
- 2nd degree arson at 1577 Martin Avenue on May 8
- 1st degree criminal mischief for burning down a shed at 478 Dana Road on May 16
- 2nd degree arson at 1708 29th Street Ensley on May 21
- Whitmire, Kyle (May 25, 2012) "Police Officer in Alabama Is Arrested After Fires." The New York Times
- Gray, Jeremy (January 30, 2013) "Former Birmingham police officer charged with arson now charged with possessing child pornography." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (June 13, 2013) "Jefferson County jury finds former Birmingham police officer guilty of arson charges." The Birmingham News
- Carter, Robert (June 13, 2013) "Updated: Curtis Thornton found guilty of Warrior, Ensley arson cases." North Jefferson News