HAZARD — Reports of a person trapped inside a structure fire late in the evening of Dec. 14 lead to the arrest of a Perry County man from the community of Viper after police say he told them he set the fire himself with the intention to kill himself.
According to an uniform citation made by Deputy Bruce Fields with the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Fields received a call about a structure fire located at 128 Mullins Lane with a person possibly trapped inside the house. The caller called Deputy Fields back and advised him that a male was outside the house with a firearm, the citation says.
Deputy Fields, along with Deputy Will Fugate, arrived on scene and cleared the area, the citation says. The citation also says that both deputies did not find anyone outside the house.
The male was identified as Brandon D. Johnson, 29, of Viper.
Deputy Fields and Deputy Fugate spoke to family members at the scene and the citation says that the family members told Deputy Fields that Johnson told them that he did not have anything to live for anymore and that he was going to kill himself.
According to the citation, Johnson told his family that he was going to go in the house and set it on fire so that he could kill himself.
Firefighters with Viper Fire Department were able to put the fire out. Firefighters, along with EMS, searched through the wreckage of the house in order to locate the remains of Johnson. The citation says that they found no human remains in the ashes.
Deputy Fields told the family that if Johnson should show up, to call him so he could speak with Johnson.
Deputy Fields received a call from Johnson’s mother telling him that Johnson had been found. After arriving back on scene, the citation says that Deputy Fields found Johnson on the porch and immediately arrested him on an outstanding warrant.
According to the citation, Deputy Fields transported Johnson to Hazard Police Department for questioning. After Johnson was read his Miranda Rights, the citation says that Johnson told Deputy Fields that he went into the house and set the couch on fire with the intention to kill himself.
According to the citation, he then tried to put the fire out with water, and after that failed to work he attempted to push the couch out the front door. After several attempts to push the couch out the front door, and realizing it wouldn’t fit, the citation says that Johnson fled the house through the back door because the house was filling up with smoke.
The citation says that Johnson ran up the hill behind the house and watched as the Viper Fire Department put the fire out.
Johnson is facing one count of second-degree arson and 12 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.