Police: Man threw gas on girlfriend as she smoked, igniting fatal motel fire
Police say a man killed his girlfriend, and set a Pennsylvania motel on fire, using gasoline and the victim’s own cigarette.
Kevin Small, 46, of the 2600 block of Southampton Road in Philadelphia, is in police custody. He is being charged with Criminal Homicide, Arson and numerous other offenses.
He was denied bail during his arraignment on Sunday afternoon in the death of 46-year-old Melissa Bacon-Smith, also of Philadelphia.
Investigators say the fire at The Lincoln Motel in the 2200 block of Lincoln Highway around 2:30 a.m. was the result of a domestic dispute.
Authorities say Small bought a cup of gasoline from the Wawa across the street, came back to the motel, flung it on Bacon-Smith while she was smoking, and left.
Firefighters arrived to find heavy black smoke coming from rooms 103 and 104, but firefighters had the blaze under control by 3 a.m.
Crews rescued at least three people from rooms on the second floor.
Several people were taken to Aria Health Torresdale for smoke inhalation. Police say their injures do not appear to be life threatening.
Action News spoke with witnesses who say the smoke was very intense in the hallway as they were trying to make their way out.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross is assisting people who were staying at The Lincoln.