COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Columbia man is accused of dowsing his own home with gasoline and burning it down.
It all began Tuesday night around 7:30 p.m. when officers arrived to Richard Patrick’s home on Graham Street to find him outside.
Officers reportedly asked if anyone was inside. Patrick said no and allegedly confessed to the crime, saying he did it to keep people from doing drugs inside.
Ernest King, a neighbor, told News 2 he saw the man set his home ablaze.
“I came out and saw this man. He threw a lighter in the house and the whole thing shot up in flames. The whole front end caught on fire,” King said.
According to the Columbia police report, the 59-year-old said, “I am fed up with him bringing in these drug heads into the house and letting them live there. I can’t have any peace and you all will not do anything about it, so burned that m***** ****** down.”
Ernest, the neighbor, said everybody ran out of the house when Patrick set it on fire.
“The man came in with the gas can and the lighter and it burst into flames. He just did it. He just got out of his truck and just did it,” he told News 2.
The suspect’s brother, Charles Patrick, and a woman named Cindy Neal got out safely. According to police, prior to setting the house on fire, Patrick told them they had five minutes to get out.
Here’s the call to 911:Cindy Neal: Rick has just set the house on fire.911: There are actual flames.Cindy Neal: Yes, in the living room, right now. I’m outside and the brothers are arguing.911: He actually poured gas in the house?Charles Patrick: Yeah, and it’s burning now. You need to come and get him.911: Ok, where is he at right now?Charles Patrick: He is standing right here right here. Man, you need to be getting here, the house is engulfed in flames.
News 2 checked with police over Patrick’s claims there was trouble with drugs and police never helped. There were no calls over the last year for service at the address until the fire Tuesday night.
In his police statement, Patrick reportedly accuses his brother of bringing homeless drug addicts into the home, claiming it has been going on for four years. He told police he couldn’t live that way anymore.
He remains in jail on $100,000 bond.