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Man Charged With Arson, Attempted Murder, Mother And Son Escape Fire
Updated August 9, 2016 6:51 AM | Filed under: Fire
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(BLOOMINGTON) - A Bloomington man was arrested after he used a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a propane torch to set a mobile home on fire, early this morning.

Bloomington Police arrested John Lawrence Jr. on charges of attempted murder, arson and battery. He is being held without bond.

Bloomington Firefighters and emergency crews were called to Arlington Valley Mobile Home Park Lot 22 at 12:50 a.m. and were on the scene for more than six hours. The home was destroyed.

According to police, a 44-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son were able to escape the blaze.

Bloomington Police Capt. Steve Kellams, says the woman was doing laundry when for an unknown reason Lawrence punched her in the face. She suffered bruising and swelling to her eye and nose. She went into the living room to tell her son about the incident and that is when Lawrence grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and began dousing the kitchen and living room while carrying a lit propane tank.

Kellams says splashed both mother and son with the rubbing alcohol and attempted to set them on fire.

Lawrence then blocked the front exit of the home.

The mother and son retreated to the back of the home and were able to escape after pushing an air conditioning unit out of a back window.

When police arrived Lawrence had fled the scene. He was found by a police dog and officers, hiding in a drainage culvert about a block from the home.

Lawrence admitted to punching the woman and starting the fire. He told police he did the crimes because he thought the woman was going to assault him, and that there were people outside the mobile home who were after him.

Police say the homeowners were not home when the fire started. They were alerted about the blaze by emergency crews.

Kellams says that the State Fire Marshal did find the blow torch and confirmed an accelerant was used to start the blaze.

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