JEFFERSONVILLE — A Charlestown man is facing attempted murder and arson charges after police say he intentionally set fire to a house with his family inside.
Jamal A. Long, 22, is charged with four level 1 felonies for attempted murder and a level 4 felony for arson after the fire Saturday, which totaled the home on Jordan Drive that was occupied by four of Long’s family members. There were no injuries reported.
Court records show that Long told police he had gotten into an argument with a family member before leaving on foot around 8:45 p.m. He was located by police after the fire was reported, which Charlestown Police Detective Jason Broady said had been called in at 10:06 p.m.
Broady, who handled the case, said that after the argument, a family member had witnessed Long start a small fire near the front porch of the house. The fire was extinguished by family members. A short time later, one of the occupants smelled smoke and found a room in the basement engulfed in flames. The four occupants evacuated the house and 911 was called.
The house was destroyed, leaving only two exterior walls.
Court records show that when police located Long and took him in for questioning, he later admitted to being angry and setting the fire with his family inside, using gasoline and a paper towel that was lit.
Broady said it’s difficult to determine if multiple fires had been set, but said preliminary investigation by the Indiana State Fire Marshal showed evidence pointing to the fire that took the structure down starting in the basement.
He added that there had been evidence of an accelerant used at the back door as well, which could have prevented escape from the home if on fire. This evidence has been sent to a state lab for inspection.
Long is charged with four level 1 felonies for attempted murder and a level 4 felony for arson. He had an initial hearing Wednesday in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4, where the judge ordered a $100,000 cash-only bond and a mental health assessment. He has a pretrial conference set for June 24 with a jury trial scheduled for Nov. 10 at 9 a.m.