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.