A Licking man is held on $1 million bond and faces two felony charges following a fire that was discovered by a child in the home last week in Licking.
Samuel J. Rogers, 31, of 20419 Highway VV, is charged with first-degree arson and first-degree burglary after allegedly using flammable liquid Oct. 3 to start a fire that heavily damaged a house at 18766 Hutchason Road in Licking that was home to an ex-girlfriend and her four children.
One child was in the home when the fire started, saw the suspect and alerted 911 of the blaze.
According to a probable cause statement submitted to Texas County Prosecuting Attorney Parke Stevens Jr. by a state fire marshal, Licking Volunteer Fire Department personnel were called around 2:10 p.m. and extinguished the blaze.
The fire marshal was requested for an investigation and said in a report that evidence was observed indicating the fire had been deliberately set and originated in the woman’s bedroom, which was completely destroyed by the blaze.
The report stated that the woman’s oldest son was inside the house playing video games and saw Rogers enter without permission. The boy later noticed smoke and eventually reported the fire, which reached ammunition that was firing.
The boy told the marshal Rogers was seen standing outside the bedroom watching the fire.
The woman reportedly arrived on the scene and engaged in conversation with Rogers, who said, “Everything is going to be OK.”
The woman reportedly told him it wouldn’t because she didn’t have insurance. The suspected arsonist said he thought she was insured, according to the woman.
Two gas cans were found near some trees about 20 feet from the residence.
Rogers was charged with burglary due to entering the home without permission.