DUPLIN COUNTY - A man is charged with attempted murder and arson for allegedly setting a home in Duplin County on fire while a person slept inside.
According to the Duplin County Sheriff's Office, 49-year-old Edwin Louis Quinn is accused of starting a fire at a home on Glenn Wells Lane in the Magnolia area on July 5.
When crews from Magnolia, Rose Hill, and Warsaw Volunteer Fire Departments arrived, they saw that the home was fully engulfed in flames. We caught up with the resident, Milton Wells, who was upstairs asleep when the fire broke out.
Wells was awakened by the smell of smoke inside the house and managed to escape without any injuries, according to the Sheriff's Office. Wells then ran a short distance down the road to a relative's house, where he called 911.
"I just stood there and watched it burn," Wells said. "I mean there was nothing else I could do until the fire department got there. Everything was destroyed, everything I owned was destroyed."
Investigators with the Sheriff's Office and the SBI said the fire was intentionally set. Quinn was arrested on July 16 and is charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
Wells says he's known the suspect for many years, but could not offer any insight on why Quinn would allegedly set fire to his home.
"God gon' take care of it, and I trust God taking care of it and I don't hold a grudge against the fella," Wells said. "I've been knowing the fella all my life."
The Sheriff's Office said officials determined during the course of the investigation that Quinn was involved in a separate incident in May 2013 in which a car at his own home was burned. As a result, Quinn has also been charged with insurance fraud and burning of personal property, the Sheriff's Office said.
In addition, Quinn is suspected of other fire-related incidents that are still under investigation by the Duplin County Sheriff's Office and the Rose Hill Police Department.
Quinn, of Magnolia, is being held in the Duplin County Jail under a $500,000 secured bond, officials said. His first court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
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