The fire occurred about 9:30 p.m. on Cassville Road, with Bartow County Fire Department stations 1, 2 and 12 responding.
According to the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Battalion Chief Sandy Turner said the fire was suspicious based on a witness’ statement. The witness said the victim, known only as James, was huffing propane and passed out, leaving the valve on the propane bottle open.
When the victim woke up, he reportedly wanted a cigarette. Lighting the cigarette caused the fire.
The victim was transported to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital for treatment.
The witness said he ran up the hill after seeing the fire and kicked open the front door so he could pull the victim to safety. According to the witness, the victim was “badly burned on the front of his body.”
The victim was later identified as James Larry Jordan through the deputy’s Eagle System. The propane bottle was taken into evidence.
After three hours, according to Battalion Chief Bryan Keeling, BCFD units were back in service. The home was declared a total loss.
Burning rubber leads to foot pursuit
The driver of a Chevrolet truck burning rubber in a CVS parking lot is still at large, while his passenger was apprehended after running onto the Cartersville High School football field.
While patrolling the area of North Tennessee Street and Church Street, a Cartersville officer saw a cloud of smoke in the CVS parking lot in such a large quantity he thought the building may have been on fire. Once he pulled into the parking lot, according to the incident report, he caught the smell of burnt rubber and saw a green 1994 Chevrolet C25 coming out of the smoky area. The officer saw the suspect leaning out of the driver’s side door, while the vehicle was still running, allegedly looking down at the pavement and grinning.
When the suspect saw the officer getting out of his patrol vehicle, he saw the suspect exit his vehicle and run toward the CVS entrance.
A second suspect, later identified as Eric Antwon Simpson, got out of the passenger seat and stopped before entering the store. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Simpson and he noted Simpson’s eyes were red and glassy.
According to the report, Simpson did not know who the driver was, saying he was just getting a ride. The officer told Simpson to stay where he was while he searched for the first suspect. After checking the aisles in CVS, the officer went back outside and reportedly saw Simpson walking away from the store. Simpson then allegedly fled the scene on foot, causing the officer to lose sight of him.
Two witnesses then pulled into the parking lot and told the officer they saw Simpson allegedly hop a fence at CHS and he was running on the football field. After giving Bartow County dispatch a description of both suspects, Simpson was later apprehended on the field by two Cartersville officers.
The two witnesses also said they saw the first suspect burning rubber in the CVS parking lot.
Once he was returned to the scene, Simpson said he ran because he wanted to go home. He said the suspect picked him up at Knight’s because he looked like he was drunk and needed a ride. According to the report, Simpson cursed throughout his statement.
Simpson was arrested and charged with obstruction of law enforcement officer, criminal trespass and public intoxication. He was transported to the Bartow County Jail without incident.
The first suspect’s vehicle was released to his wife. Warrants were taken out on him for obstruction of a law enforcement officer, open container in vehicle and laying drags.
Religious discussion leads to battery charges
While talking about the Bible and the Ten Commandments, one duo got into a fight that ended in battery.
Cartersville police were called to the Crown Inn on North Tennessee Street about 1 a.m. Saturday in reference to a 911 hangup. The responding officer made contact with Carolyn Unfricht and Daniel Camarda. When he was invited into their room, the officer noted fresh blood on the carpet and a bloody towel in the sink. According to the incident report, both Unfricht and Camarda appeared to be “highly intoxicated.”
When asked, Unfricht said she and Camarda had been talking about the Bible and the Ten Commandments when the discussion became heated. Unfricht said she stood up, picked up a Bible and struck Camarda across the face. The blow caused a red mak on Camarda’s face and broke his glasses. Unfricht said that after she hit him, Camarda “slung her across the room,” according to the report, and she struck the television and the table. Unfricht received a cut on her head and injured her foot at some point as well.
Unfricht was arrested and charged with simple battery under the Family Violence Act and criminal trespass (FVA). Camarda was arrested and charged with battery (FVA). Both were transported to Cartersville Police Department and later the Bartow County Jail without incident.