Arson charge in Oak Street fire

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A 42-year-old Suffolk man who allegedly got into a domestic squabble with his girlfriend wound up being rescued from a fire and charged with arson Monday night after police responded to the domestic disturbance call at his Oak Street apartment.

Police responded to the home at about 8:30 p.m., when they got a call about a domestic disturbance there. A woman standing outside told them that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, who was still in the home, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George.

While a police officer tried to get a response at the door, a neighbor told him the home was on fire, and the officer saw flames coming from a side window. The officer again tried to get an answer at the door, and Freeman responded that he was burning the residence down and did not intend to come out, according to a city press release.

Email newsletter signup

The officer forced his way into the apartment and found Freeman standing next to a bed and wall that were engulfed in flames. Freeman had to be pulled from the building, and when the two were clear, they heard an explosion from within, George said in her press release.

Residents of adjacent properties were evacuated, she said. Suffolk Fire and Rescue responded and put out the fire, and arson investigators responded to the scene.

Freeman was charged with domestic assault, threatening to burn and arson. He is being held in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond.

The apartment sustained $15,000 in structural damage and $2,000 in content loss.