Deputies: Home owner set fire to house overnight

Updated: 05/28/2014 5:59 PM
Created: 05/28/2014 7:10 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

A Lima man accused of trying to burn his own house down is facing charges. Police say he started the fire at his home on College Street in Lima by pouring gasoline around the house and lighting a fire.

Investigators plan to charge Richard Wilson, of Lima, with arson as soon as he is out of the hospital. 

Some neighbors say the homeowner is going through a dark and difficult time in his life and had threatened to burn his house down before.

Scorched furniture and VHS tapes lay outside the home, but it was a much difference scene while it was burning Tuesday night. Neighbor Ronald Barcomb was there.

Roland Barcomb said, “I heard screaming, real loud screaming.”

He found the house's owner, Richard Wilson, lying on the ground. Livingston County Sheriff’s deputies say Wilson doused the house with gasoline and tried to burn it down, adding it is possible he's mentally ill.

Barcomb said, “He poured gas all over the living room and when it exploded, it burnt his legs and his feet pretty bad.”

Wilson survived and was taken to the hospital after being arrested.

Barcomb said, “I feel sorry for the guy, but what he did wasn't very smart.”

Wilson rented an apartment above his garage. It is now unlivable. His tenant didn’t want to speak on camera, but said Wilson had threatened to do it before.

The community is banding together though, helping to find the tenant a place to stay.

Barcomb said, “You always think something like that is going to happen in somebody else’s' neighborhood.  This is a pretty quiet neighborhood, just not something you like to see.”

Wilson's tenant says he's mad about what happened, but he has no hard feelings against his landlord and he doesn't want people bashing him for what he did. 

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