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The Journal Gazette

  • Caldwell

Friday, September 14, 2018 1:00 am

Bedroom blaze nets 3 charges

Wife still critical, papers say

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Eddie L. Caldwell waited until 8:30 a.m., just after his grandson left for school, and then violated a protective order issued last week, breaking into the home he had shared with his wife and setting it on fire, according to court documents.

Just before the fire was set Wednesday morning at 5613 S. Harrison St., Caldwell brought with him a water bottle filled with gasoline. He left it in the kitchen before he walked to the southwest bedroom where Lizzie Caldwell was asleep. An argument ensued before he walked back to the kitchen to retrieve the gasoline, according to court documents.

He poured the gasoline on himself and his wife and then set the bedroom on fire with a butane lighter, court documents said.

Lizzie Caldwell remained in critical condition Thursday, court documents said.

“Ms. Caldwell's prognosis is not favorable. Ms. Caldwell is currently unable to communicate and is unresponsive,” court documents said.

Caldwell was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $60,750 bail. He was charged Thursday with burglary where serious bodily injury occurs, arson resulting in serious bodily injury, domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury with a misdemeanor charge for invasion of privacy.

The fire was caused intentionally and an “open flame was intentionally applied to gasoline on the person of Ms. Lizzie Caldwell and/or the bed Ms. Caldwell was occupying,” court documents said.

Both Caldwells appeared at a neighbor's door shortly after the fire erupted, pleading with the neighbor to call 911. While Vickie Maiden grabbed a robe for the naked woman, Eddie Caldwell asked Maiden for a cigarette and told her he'd be going to jail for setting the house on fire, court documents said.

Caldwell has a court hearing Tuesday at 9 a.m.

jduffy@jg.net