BAHAMA: Man beaten, then arrested after trying to burn house - WFLA News Channel 8

Man beaten, later arrested for trying to set fire to Bahama home

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Connie Blanchard Connie Blanchard

A Rougemont man has been arrested and charged with arson and attempted homicide after he was caught  trying to set another man's house on fire, authorities said Thursday.

Deputies responded to a residence in the 11000 block of Wilkins Road in Bahama at 11 p.m. Tuesday after James Mangum called 911 to report that someone had just tried to light his house on fire.

Mangum told deputies he was inside his home and smelled smoke. When he went outside to investigate, he found Connie Huff Blanchard, 65, attempting to ignite a house fire using a blow torch. Mangum confronted Blanchard and the two fought over control of the blow torch. Blanchard fled the area and Mangum tried to extinguish the fire.

Deputies later located Blanchard at his home on Bahama Road in Rougemont, and he admitted to starting a fire at Mangum's home, police said. Blanchard sustained numerous injuries during his fight with Mangum that caused two black eyes and facial swelling.

He was arrested and taken to the Durham County Jail.

Blanchard has been charged with first-degree arson and attempted first-degree murder. He is being held in the Durham County Jail under a $1 million bond.

Blanchard's motive for starting the fire is still under investigation, police said. Mangum has not been charged with any crimes related to the fight between him and Blanchard.

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