A Choppins man is dead after a house fire he reportedly set Thursday morning following an altercation with his wife.
The dead man has been identified as 53-year-old Michael David Prince.
Prince reportedly set the two-storey, five-bedroom concrete house ablaze after police responded to a report of domestic violence at the house.
When firefighters extinguished the blaze, Prince’s body was found in a bathroom of the top floor of the house, one of its occupants told iWitness News on Thursday.
The occupant, who asked not to be identified, said there was a “nine nights” activity at the home Wednesday night in memory of an elderly member of the household who died nine days earlier.
The occupant went to bed sometime after midnight and was awoken sometime later by the sound of screaming.
When the occupant checked for the source of the screaming, Prince had his wife “in a chokehold” and his wife’s two adult children were trying to free her.
Prince’s wife also has two adolescent children, one of whom is the deceased man’s biological child.
iWitness News was told that an occupant of the house took the two children to another section of the house and called the police.
In the meantime, Prince’s wife and her two adult children had run into the street.
Prince reportedly ran to the section of the house where the children had taken and were staying with another adult.
The children reportedly later said that Prince attempted to grab them but they were able to escape and were taken to a neighbour’s house.
“He came out and said, ‘I will put you all into misery.’ He was threatening everyone — mother, sister, auntie…”
iWitness News was told that Prince had a cooking gas cylinder in hand while issuing the threats.
“He lit a cushion and put it on the gas bottle and he had gas in another can, like for a weed cutter, throwing it into the house.”
By this time, police had arrived and attempted to enter the house to get Prince.
“But he threw one of the gas cans after them so they didn’t get to go after him until he went into his bedroom and locked up. That was when the fire was blazing.”
A small fire tender responded to the blaze and VINLEC came and disconnected the electricity from the building. A larger fire truck later arrived and extinguished the fire.
“When they found him, he was in the bathroom in water,” the occupant of the house told iWitness News.
The occupant of the house was unsure as to why Mr. Prince had his wife in a chokehold.
“Nobody would feel nice about this. It is material things we can get back anytime but it is going to take a while. It is traumatising not just for adults but the two children,” the occupant of the home told iWitness News.
Regarding Mr. Prince the occupant said:
“When I first met him, he came to me very nice [but later on] it’s like a whole different person. Should I say two-faced?”
Police have launched an investigation into the incident but have not issued any statement about it.