Man sets building on fire during violent NY domestic dispute: Police

MIDDLETOWN, Orange County (WABC) -- A man is under arrest after police say he assaulted a woman and set a building on fire during a domestic dispute in Orange County Monday.

It happened just after 7:30 p.m. in the Buttonwood Hills Apartment Complex on Concord Lane in Middletown, where authorities say they were called for both the dispute and reports of a fire at Building 8, which houses roughly 20 apartments.

Arriving officers found a 37-year-old woman who was bleeding from the face. Police say she and her three children had to jump from a second floor balcony as the fire quickly spread to neighboring units.

She immediately directed them to her boyfriend, 39-year-old Larry Hickmon Jr., of Jamaica, Queens, who was standing next to the burning building.

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Upon observing officers, police say he attempted to flee behind the building on foot.

Officer Kelly Conklin pursued him to the rear of the burning apartment building, where Hickmon subsequently surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident.

As officers were placing the suspect in custody, residents on scene reported multiple individuals were potentially trapped inside the burning apartment building.

Officer Louis Scialabba entered Building 8 and went door to door checking for residents.

All of the apartments were subsequently evacuated with no reported injuries to the occupants.

The Middletown Fire Department arrived on scene and initiated firefighting operations, assisted by numerous mutual aid companies, to include the Circleville, Siver Lake, Howells, Pocatello, and Mechanicstown fire departments.

As a result of the building fire, a total of 10 apartments were damaged.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries, and Officer Scialabba suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released from Garnet Health Medical Center.

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The victim of the domestic violence incident, who is not being identified, suffered facial injuries and was also treated at Garnet Health Medical Center.

The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the families who were displaced by the fire.

Hickmon is charged with second-degree arson, third-degree assault, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was also found to have an active felony arrest warrant from Newburgh for second-degree assault and an active felony bench warrant from the Wallkill, also for second-degree assault.

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