Arrest made in Apison arson case - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Arrest made in Apison arson case

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A Hamilton County man is behind bars accused of setting his girlfriend's house on fire. The fire broke out around 9 o'clock Friday night off Wesleyan Road in Apison.

Witnesses say the disgruntled boyfriend threw gas on the flames and watched the house burn.

"I knew something was going to happen. I certainly didn't expect this," says neighbor Jacqueline Montgomery.

Montgomery happened to glance out her back window Friday night, only to see her neighbor's home on fire. She yelled for her husband to go help while she called 911.

"He ran out and ran to the back of the house to get in, to make sure that Edna and Rick weren't in there," says Montgomery.

Neither Edna, nor her boyfriend, 55-year-old Richard Dillon, was inside the house. Edna was gone but Dillon was out front with a gas can.

"I saw Rick get up from that seat with a gas can in his hand and douse more gas on it."

Montgomery says Dillon appeared to be drunk, as he threw gas to fuel the flames, then sat in the front yard and watched the house burn.

Once authorities arrived, Dillon was arrested and faces charges of aggravated assault, aggravated arson, felony reckless endangerment, among other charges.

"He's not a good person. He's not a good person," says Montgomery.

She says Edna and Rick had been together about two years and the relationship was rocky.

"He doesn't like women, I can tell you that. He doesn't respect authority. He doesn't respect anything, certainly not human life or property," says Montgomery.

She is just thankful her friend is ok.

"She's fine. She's doing real good. She actually said she feels a burden's been lifted now. She feels safe as long as he stays in jail."

Edna is staying with family. The estimated damage to the home is around $100,000.

Dillon is behind bars on a $105,000 bond. He is due in court March the 4th.

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