Police: Man Set Fire To Get “Sniper” Inside To Leave

By on October 15, 2018 in WNDB News

Daytona Beach, FL – Two people have been Baker Acted at Halifax Health Medical Center after one of them admitted to starting a fire in his Daytona Beach apartment so he could get a “sniper” inside to leave.

Those people – a 40-year-old man and 42-year-old wife – are not facing criminal charges at this point in the blaze which started around 2 a.m. today (October 15th) at Nova Wood Apartments on South Nova Road, but the incident is now under review by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

A neighbor called 911 for help, saying that he could see his neighbor dangling out of a window and urging dispatchers to send someone to help right away.

Daytona Beach Police Department spokesperson Lyda Longa says the man who started the fire – whom WNDB isn’t naming because he’s not facing any charges at this point – had spoken to emergency dispatchers over four hours earlier, telling them that there were “soldiers” outside his apartment trying to get to him and his wife.

“After speaking with the resident in person, it was determined he did not fit the criteria for being taken into custody under the state’s Baker Act [at that time],” Longa added.

Per Longa, the situation changed after the fire was set, which destroyed the apartment and sent three people – including a Daytona Beach firefighter and policeman – to the hospital.

“This time, he stated that a sniper had gotten inside his house and he had to start the fire in order to remove the sniper from within and protect himself and his wife,” Longa noted.

That man and his wife are currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

The DBPD officer who went to the hospital has since been released after complaining of smoke inhalation, as was a neighbor who helped get the man and his wife out of the burning apartment, according to Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesperson Sasha Staton.

“The fire started in the kitchen and spread throughout some of the nearby rooms in the apartment,” Staton said. “Five Daytona Beach Fire Department units and one from South Daytona worked quickly to get control of the aggressive fire. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the apartment of origin and prevent it from spreading to the adjacent apartments.”

The third person injured was a DBFD firefighter who suffered second-degree burns.

Neither the man who set the fire or his wife were hurt, according to the DBPD incident report, but the wife told officers afterward that the “sniper” was “super nice” and that he was still in the burning apartment armed with a gun.

The man, meanwhile, told DBPD that he could see the “snipers” coming through the roof and that’s why he set the apartment on fire.

While searching the apartment, DBPD did take a pellet gun and several rounds of live ammunition found inside into evidence.

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