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Brundidge man charged with first-degree arson

Police arrested a Brundidge man Thursday after Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said the man lit his own mattress on fire.

Davenport said Darrell Lee Mathis, 24, said the incident stemmed from an ongoing domestic dispute between Mathis and his wife, although Davenport said Mathis told police he had set the bed on fire because it had bed bugs.

Brundidge police officers responded to the scene at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday and saw smoke coming from the residence on Hinwal Drive.

Mathis was charged with first-degree arson in the incident, a Class A Felony that is punishable by 20 years to life in prison in Alabama.

According to Alabama law, a person commits first-degree arson “if he intentionally damages a building by starting or maintaining a fire or causing an explosion, and when: (1) another person is present in such building at the time, and (2) the actor knows that fact, or the circumstances are such as to render the presence of a person therein a reasonable possibility.”

Davenport said Mathis’ wife and children were inside the home when he allegedly lit the mattress on fire. Very little structure damage was done to the house, Davenport said.

Mathis was booked into the Pike County Jail on Thursday.