Police: Man threw gas on woman as she smoked, killing her

BENSALEM, Pa. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday charged a Philadelphia man accused of throwing a cup of gasoline on his girlfriend while she was smoking, starting a fire that killed her after a dispute between the two.

Kevin Small, 46, of Philadelphia, was arraigned on homicide, arson and other charges Sunday afternoon in the death of Mellissa Bacon-Smith, 46.

The fire started in a room of the Lincoln Motel in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem, police said. Small told authorities he bought the gasoline from a convenience store across the street from the motel, according to a criminal complaint.

The blaze was reported around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Fire crews reported thick black smoke coming from two rooms. The blaze was declared under control in about a half-hour.

When reporters asked Smith if he had anything to say to Bacon-Smith’s family, he responded, “I’m sorry.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.

At least three people were rescued from second-floor rooms following the fire. Several people were treated for smoke inhalation, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross was assisting with displaced motel residents and customers, police said.

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