Officials: Two arrested after fight ends in arson

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 1, 2004

Two people are in custody in the Lawrence County Jail thismorning after a domestic dispute escalated into arson at anapartment complex here, officials said.

Charise Bridges was charged with arson and Jerome Berry wascharged with domestic violence and disturbing the peace in theThursday incident.

According to Monticello Police Officer Charles White, heresponded with the fire department to a fire call at 2:07 p.m. Whenthey arrived, Berry and Bridges were rolling on the ground in afight and a fire was reported in the bedroom of the apartment theyshared.

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“I dealt with the people and the fire department dealt with thefire,” White said.

Monticello Fire Chief and City Fire Investigator Wayne Harrisonsaid the fire originated in a closet in the bedroom.

“It was apparent the fire was lit by a cigarette lighter put tohanging clothes,” he said.

No accelerants appear to have been used, he said.

The fire destroyed the closet and a pair of walls, Harrisonsaid, but was otherwise contained.

According to White, the incident began as a domestic disputebetween Berry and Bridges.

“All of her stuff was outside,” he said. “She was in the processof moving out or being put out. I’m not sure which.”

The incident is still under investigation, White said, and somedetails, such as when Bridges set the fire during the dispute, werestill unclear.