Police: Rockford man confessed to setting fire to his own home

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Police say a Rockford man confessed to setting a fire in his home in a presumed attempt to kill his mother, and ignored her screaming as he went to get a ladder and rescue his wife and three children from the burning home.

29-year-old Donavin Fluaitt was arrested and charged with starting a house fire yesterday.

Rockford Fire says it responded to a home at 1724 Lyran Avenue around 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

Officials said before firefighters arrived, Fluaitt had gone to the garage to get a ladder, and had removed his wife and three children through a second story window.

The Fire Department was able to rescue a second, unconscious adult during a search of the home.

Officials say that person was taken to SwedishAmerican Hospital with serious injuries, and is still unconscious as of Thursday.

The fire was then extinguished.

Photo: Rockford Fire

During an interview with police, Fluaitt allegedly confessed to detectives that he retrieved a 5 gallon can of gasoline from the garage, soaked a towel with fuel, and placed it outside of his mother’s room. Fluaitt told police he then ignited the towel with a grill lighter, and left the house through a rear door, which he locked behind him.

According to the arrest record, Fluaitt heard his mother screaming inside the room as he went to rescue his wife and children.

Fluaitt was arrested and charged with five counts of Aggravated Arson.

He is being held at the Winnebago County Jail.

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