71-year-old charged with arson

March 24, 2010 2:20:23 PM PDT
A day that started with 71-year-old James McKoy removing landscaping debris from the backyard of a home in Fayetteville ended with him being arrested for arson.

McKoy was hired by homeowner Mabel Williams, 77. Williams told investigators she instructed McKoy to remove the debris from her backyard, but she said she gave him specific instructions not to burn anything.

When Mckoy returned to the house on Wednesday to finish the project, detectives say he piled up the debris and used paper and a match to set it on fire.

He left the fire to bring addition debris to the pile and when he returned the flames had spread to nearby trees and onto the roof of Williams' home. He didn't know Williams was inside.

McKoy tried to put the fire out using a fire hose and an extinguisher, but he was unsuccessful.

Fayetteville firefighters were called to the scene and they rescued Williams. She was not injured, but the fire severely damaged her home.

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