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Posted on Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Man charged with arson for fire at Saline apartment

By Kyle Feldscher

A 22-year-old Saline man has been charged with arson after lighting his apartment’s stove on fire before notifying police and leaving the building.


Paul Morphew

Courtesy of Saline Police Department

Paul Morphew, of Saline, has been charged with arson of a dwelling, according to jail records. He was arraigned Friday afternoon at the Washtenaw County Jail and given a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Saline police dispatchers received a call from the Ann Arbor Police Department at 6:17 p.m. Wednesday notifying them that a young man had called Ann Arbor police to report a fire at his apartment.

The man, reported to be Morphew, told police there would be a fire at the apartment’s address. When asked how he knew that, Morphew told Ann Arbor dispatchers, “Because I just set it” and hung up, according to the report.

Saline police and Saline firefighters responded to the apartment in the 200 block of Clark Street and found thick smoke coming from the apartment identified by Ann Arbor police. All four of the burners on the apartment’s stove were on and papers were burning on top of them, according to the report.

The fire was reaching up the wall behind the gas stove. Saline firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly before searching the apartment and determining no one was home.

Saline police officers evacuated residents from four other apartments in the building. No one was injured.

While investigating after the fire was extinguished, police found mail addressed to Morphew in the apartment and the cell phone belonging to Morphew, according to the report.

According to the police report, Morphew underwent a psychological evaluation after his arrest.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

Once had a neighbor move out most of their personal effects, pile a bunch of paper/pizza boxes on the stove, turn it on and lock the door behind them. Luckily an upstairs neighbor heard the smoke alarm beeping and came down to investigate. He kicked down the door and I called the fire department. When you owe back rent, I can understand moving out, but burning the place down? These fires must be caught within minutes. Thankfully my neighbor was home to hear the alarm, and thankfully this guy called the police before it could get out of hand.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

years ago on april fool's day, my sister and her young family suffered an unintentional house fire. we give thanks to God,that the house, and all its contents, were the only things lost. the loss of your house and contents is an emotional devastation that lasts forever. to this day she refers to times in her life as "pre-and post- fire".this young man, will hopefully, get the help he needs.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

I thought my generation was stupid. 70s, 80s...then this.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

Oh my gosh! I wonder if he even thought about the other people living in units around his!! And a gas stove...this could have ended much worse. Definitely sounds like a psych eval was necessary. Glad no one was hurt.