Police: Man charged with arson after burning trash too close to homes

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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Paintsville Police arrested a man Thursday on an arson charge.

Firefighters responded to a fire at a home on Pine Street that was already burned once before. When they got there, a firefighter saw a man in a black jacket and jeans throw a Mountain Dew 2-liter bottle.

When police came on the scene, they questioned the man, Michael R. Eldridge, who admitted to burning trash near the house.

Eldridge told police he did not mean for the fire to catch on the remains of the burnt home. The property owner, Eldridge's mother, said Eldridge had permission to burn trash but not inside the home.

Officers noticed burn patterns on the side of the house that indicated the trash was ignited right next to the wall.

After further investigation, police learned there were five people in nearby apartments and a home that could have been hurt or killed if the fire had spread uncontrolled.

Police charged Eldridge with first-degree wanton endangerment and third-degree arson. He was taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.



 
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