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Man charged with arson in West Side fire

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. --  A Charleston man was charged Saturday with first-degree arson, domestic assault and violation of a domestic violence petition after police said he set his back porch on fire while his wife and daughter were inside.

The incident happened at 600 Randolph St. around 3 a.m. Saturday, said Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department.

Clinton Simpson, 59, allegedly doused the house's back porch with gasoline and ignited it. When police arrived, they found the woman and 17-year-old daughter outside the home and the porch in flames.

"The suspect had poured gasoline on the front porch and was trying to pour it under the door," Cooper said. "When he heard police sirens, he fled the scene."

Police arrested Simpson three hours later, a block away from the home, Cooper said.

Simpson's wife, 51-year-old Jodie Gilbert, had recently gotten a domestic violence petition to remove Simpson from the home, Cooper said.

"We're very happy to report that no one was injured and that [Simpson] is incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail," Cooper said.


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