Police: Bellefonte man attempts to set girlfriend’s home on fire

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Bellefonte man faces arson charges after being accused of setting his girlfriend’s kitchen on fire early Wednesday morning.

Christopher Clinton, 50, allegedly told police he threatened to kill her the weekend prior and thought he saw her walk into the neighbor’s half of the duplex, so he wanted the houses to blow up to kill both of them.

The victim was not home at the time but said Clinton sent her several text messages and a picture of her house and what appeared to be a fire in the kitchen. Police saw Clinton’s truck traveling down the street and told officers he was pulling up so that they could arrest him. Clinton told police he “messed up” and started a fire inside the house, according to the charges filed.

Christopher Clinton, 50

Police said the fire was started on top of the stove and noticed damage to the stove, microwave and cabinets. Police said the fire alarm and carbon monoxide sensors were ripped off of the walls, and there were several damaged items throughout the house.

When the fire department arrived, they said the fire was out but all four gas valves were completely open on the stove, which filled the house with propane. The fire department turned off the valves.

Clinton told police he got into an argument with his girlfriend the weekend prior and said he was going to kill her. Clinton said he was going to go to the garage, get his crossbow and shoot her in the chest, according to the charges filed. Clinton said he went to the garage and when he came back she was gone and did not return.

Clinton said he thought he saw his girlfriend enter the next-door neighbor’s house late Tuesday evening. He knocked on the door and made his way inside, asking where his girlfriend was before the neighbor asked him to leave, according to police. Clinton said once he got back to his girlfriend’s home he “lost it” and set the fire.

Clinton told police he wanted the house to blow up to kill him and his girlfriend who he believed was next door. He said he knew that the neighbors would be casualties, according to his statement to police. Clinton said he decided not to go through with his plan and put the fire out with a hose from the kitchen sink.

Later on, Clinton said he attempted to commit suicide by driving his truck into a drainage area. He came into contact with police after getting his truck out of the drainage area.

He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 17.

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