Woman sets boyfriend's apartment on fire
NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- City officials deemed a South Florida home a total loss after police said, the owner's estranged girlfriend set it on fire, Thursday morning.
Investigators said Deborah Baldwin, 52, doused furniture and clothes in the back bedroom of 48-year-old Levandous Henderson's home with a bottle of grill lighter fluid and lit a match. According to the homeowner, Baldwin got ahold of his cell phone and discovered some recent text messages that prompted her to set fire to the residence, located on the 1500 block of Northeast 152nd Street in North Miami Beach.
"I opened the door, and flames, right there, on my face," said Henderson. As the fire burned out of control, he attempted to salvage any items that had not been completely engulfed in flames. He was not inside his home at the time the fire started and was not injured.
Henderson's friend tried to help him. "When I tried to come in, the smoke was so thick that you just couldn't come in," said Darryl Brazzle.
North Miami Beach city officials were at the scene of the fire Thursday and concluded the home was unsafe to inhabit.
North Miami Beach Police caught up with Baldwin as she walked down the street near Henderson's home. Authorities said she admitted to starting the blaze and put her under arrest. "I told her, 'You're going to jail for real this time,'" Henderson said.
Baldwin and Henderson met back in the eighties on a phone chat line. She is currently in jail facing an arson charge.
Henderson said he is currently consulting with his homeowner's insurance company. He is also receiving some assistance from the Red Cross. As far as his relationship with Baldwin, he confirmed it is now over. "No more, that's it, that's the bottom line," he said.
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