LIMA — A 61-year-old Lima man has been indicted by an Allen County grand jury on three first-degree felony counts of arson for allegedly starting a fire at a Union Street residence occupied by a woman he knew.
According to court documents, police believe Anthony Whaley intentionally started a fire at the home of Berhonda Fuller, 1140 S. Union St., Lima. Lima Police Department Detective Steve Steckschulte, in his narrative, said Fuller was inside the home with her son, Deangelo Smith, along with Dealando Reynolds and Otis Thomas when she saw a “bright orange glow” coming from the rear of the home. Realizing her house was on fire, Fuller ran outside and saw Whaley with a gas can in his hand, according to Steckschulte. Whaley reportedly fled in the direction of his home at 1145 S. Main St.
Lima firefighters were dispatched and extinguished the fire, and police located a gas can at the rear of the building, according to court documents. A trail of the mixture of oil and gas was followed and led officers to Whaley.
Whaley reportedly later told investigators that he was walking through the alley near the house and observed Reynolds fighting with his girlfriend in the back yard of the Union Street home. Whaley told police he attempted to stop the fight and was assaulted by Reynolds. Whaley said he then returned home to get a gas can and then came back to light the fire.
Whaley will be arraigned Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.