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Poarch man torches own home


A Jack Springs Road resident was arrested May 30 on arson and domestic violence charges after he allegedly used a husband-wife dispute as the catalyst for setting a fire that consumed the mobile home in which the couple lived.

Jason Paul Mitchell, 31, of a Jack Springs Road address, is charged with one count each of second degree arson, domestic violence and third degree domestic harassment. An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported Monday that Mitchell remained in jail under a $25,000 bond.

According to a press release issued last week by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Lambert, ECSO personnel received a 911 call around 12:30 p.m., while emergency personnel were already involved in a fatal fire in Appleton, on the other end of the county. The caller reported a residential structure fire at 7135 Jack Springs Road, in the Poarch community.

Poarch Fire Department units responded to the scene to reportedly find the mobile home engulfed in flames.

Deputies also were sent to the scene and received information that the fire was possibly started by a subject, later identified as Mitchell, who was living there and had earlier been involved in “a domestic situation with his wife.” According to witnesses, the Poarch man had earlier made statements to people in the area indicating that he was “going to set fire to the residence and property.”

Lambert said that when deputies approached Mitchell, “the suspect ran into a wooded area near the residence, armed with a gun, and said he was going to shoot himself.”

Lambert said deputies and Poarch police officers were able to disarm the subject and take him into custody without further incident.

The State Fire Marshal’s office assisted in the brief fire investigation.