WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A West Terre Haute man accused of arson reportedly admitted to police that he started an apartment fire last weekend.
According to court records, 64-year-old Clifton J. Cummings has been charged with fourth degree felony arson. He appeared in Vigo County Superior Court 6 Thursday where Judge Michael J. Lewis set a bond of $35,000 with no 10% allowed.
A probable cause affidavit filed in the case reveals more about what police say happened the day of October 21 in the 4100 block of W. National Avenue.
According to West Terre Haute Police, crews were called to the location for a report of a fire. While investigating the cause of the fire, a resident told police they had heard two men arguing in the apartment just before the fire began.
The resident of that apartment told police he and Cummings had gotten into an argument over cigarettes and after exiting the apartment, Cummings reportedly began to douse the doorway with gasoline before lighting it with a lighter.
Cummings would tell police multiple versions of the story.
Another witness told police that Cummings had run up to them after the fire and told them he had started the blaze by lighting a liquid on fire in the apartment. No injuries were reported from the fire.
Investigators ruled the fire an arson, saying the area of origin was determined to be the apartment in question and that burn patterns were consistent with the use of an ignitable liquid.
Jail records show Cummings was placed under arrest and taken to the Vigo County Jail where he’s been in custody since.