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Argument over stolen phone may have led to arson

Posted February 18, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— A Hope Mills man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to a home while 10 people slept inside, authorities said.

Scott Anthony McIntyre, 35, of 5470 Calhoun Court, was charged with first-degree arson and was held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond.

Hope Mills mobile home fire Six adults, four youngsters escape mobile home fire

Investigators said McIntyre set fire to a mobile home at 5539 Lafayette St. early Tuesday. The home was destroyed, but the residents and their guests, including two infants, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, escaped unharmed, authorities said.

Al Stowe said he was roused from sleep early Tuesday by his dogs barking and saw flames in back of the mobile home.

"I just started yelling at everybody to grab a kid, grab a kid. Everybody grabbed a kid, and we all ran out," Stowe said.

As the fire raged, he said, he saw McIntyre, who lived nearby, walking away.

"Actually, I looked at him as a friend. The last thing I ever expected was for this to happen," Stowe said.

McIntyre had gone to Stowe's home late Monday night asking for money and Stowe refused, authorities said.

"He asked to use the phone, and he used the phone and then he stole the phone," Stowe said, adding that he went to McIntyre's home and demanded his phone back.

"I guess he got upset, and I guess he decided to burn the house down," he said.

Stowe said he often would allow his children's friends to stay over if they had nowhere else to go. McIntyre knew about all the people in the mobile home, he said.

"He even asked whose babies are they (when) he saw them all lying on the bed. He just didn't have any regard for human life, it looks like," he said.

Stowe had no insurance on the mobile home. The Red Cross has provided him a hotel room for several days.

"I'll figure it out. I'll be alright," he said.

21 Comments

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  • sayitoutloud Feb 19, 2009

    What a whacko. Glad everybody got out safely.

  • paddie Feb 18, 2009

    How about 10 counts of attempted murder?

  • jas1022 Feb 18, 2009

    Not only do I find it odd that 10 people were living in a trailer, but that this guy was trying to hit them up for money knowing that. Can 10 people actually live in a trailer hospitibally/legally? If it were migrant workers, the human rights activist groups would be tearing someones doorstep down for an answer.

    Clintoflannagan: I couldn't agree more with your statement.

  • jon2four Feb 18, 2009

    That was just mean and hateful.

  • renatarice Feb 18, 2009

    thatnk god the kids were ok

  • diwanicki Feb 18, 2009

    Glad no one was hurt. I tend to agree bond to low and thats attempted murder for each person that was in there.

  • ginaosbo Feb 18, 2009

    Co'mon guys! He was just lookin for a bailout.

  • tootie Feb 18, 2009

    My Heavens!!! Hey everyone's wallets are a little tight these days, you don't have to harm someone cuz they don't have any to give out. geeze!! yea somethings not right.

  • raggy831 Feb 18, 2009

    I agree 50,000 is cheap. I also agree that he needs to be charged with attempted murder. Glad that the family got out safe.

  • lisa4 Feb 18, 2009

    I agree with "One Good Dad" - $50,000 bond is a little cheap. Whoever set his bond should go back & rethink this.

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