Neighbors describe suspect in fatal Old Louisville fire as nuisance
Police say the suspect admitted setting the fire.
Monday, November 24th 2014, 3:20 pm EST
Monday, November 24th 2014, 11:39 pm EST
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a house fire in the 1400 block of south Brook Street early Monday that killed an elderly man and injured three other people was deliberately set.
According to arson investigator Maj. Henry Ott, the suspect, 53-year-old Ronald Mills, lived on the first floor and admitted to starting the fire. Right now he is charged with one count of first degree arson.
The fire was first reported around 5:30 a.m. When crews arrived, they found heavy flames on both the first and second floors. One man was rescued from a balcony in the rear of the building. Two other people inside the home escaped. All three were taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
As firefighters tried to get to the upper level, they had to fight heavy flames blocking their path. When firefighters reached the second floor, they found the victim, an elderly man.
There's no word yet on the victim's identity.
Jimmy Wilson, a neighbor, said he was awakened by the commotion. He says he looked out the door "and there are just flames, balls of flames, shooting out the side of the house."
Metro Arson investigators say Mills told them he started the fire because of a dispute with his landlord.
"Basically, he was upset with the owner of the building, the landlord," Ott said. "We have not developed that completely but we think that's what happened."
Another neighbor, John Davis, says Mills didn't seem concerned as the home went up in flames.
"The house was still on fire -- flames everywhere -- he's sitting on his front porch eating a bowl of noodles," Davis said.
Neighbors say Mills has been a nuisance in the neighborhood for some time.
"Every time the cops come here they don't do nothing," Davis said. "If they would have done something about it, it could have prevented this man from dying in this house."
Mills has no criminal history.
Metro Arson investigators tell us they expect additional charges as the investigation develops.
Mills was expected to be arraigned Tuesday morning.
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