Wanted Man Accused of Setting ‘Devastating Fire’ in Hudson Valley
The fire destroyed 10 homes. Children had to be tossed over a balcony for safety.
On Monday around 7:30 p.m., the City of Middletown Police Department was dispatched to 360 Concord Lane in the Buttonwood Hills Apartment Complex, for a reported violent domestic dispute between a male and female. While responding to the initial incident, the police department received numerous additional phone calls reporting a building fire at Building 8 in the Buttonwood Hills Complex, which houses apartments 340-360. The fire department was then notified and crews began responding.
It's believed a boyfriend assaulted his girlfriend and then set their apartment on fire with three small children in the apartment at the time. Witnesses said they heard a bang, saw flames and then noticed the unnamed man jump from the balcony and run into the woods.
Neighbors went after the man and he was quickly caught by police and taken into custody. Witnesses say they saw neighbors toss three small children over the second-floor balcony to escape the growing flames.
Upon arriving at the scene, Middletown police officers found a 37-year-old female victim who was bleeding from the face. The victim immediately directed officers to a male suspect, 39-year-old Larry Hickmon, Jr. of Jamaica Queens, who was standing next to the burning building, officials say.
As a result of the building fire, a total of 10 apartments were damaged. One firefighter suffered minor injuries, and an officer suffered smoke inhalation.
The 37-year-old woman suffered facial injuries. Her children were not injured.
Hickmon, Jr. was charged with arson, a felony, assault and criminal obstruction of breathing, misdemeanors. He was also found to have an active felony arrest warrant from the City of Newburgh for assault and an active felony bench warrant from the Town of Wallkill, also for assault in the Second Degree, police say.
Photos from the blaze are below:
'Devastating Fire' Displaces 10 Hudson Valley Families From Home