Woman charged with arson in house fire

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Past experience paid off for Kemper County Deputy Michael Mattox last Wednesday, helping him rescue a woman from a house fire she was later charged with setting.

Mattox said he got the call at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6 that there was a house fire with three people inside. He was able to get from the Sheriff’s office to the residence at 318 Martin Luther King Street in DeKalb in “about a minute.”

When he arrived on the scene Mattox saw relatives standing at the door of the home looking inside. He was told that two children had been rescued by their father but that a woman was still inside.

“I could tell that the fire was in the kitchen so I went back to the car, got my fire extinguisher and went back in to contain the fire,” said Mattox, who is a former firefighter with the DeKalb Fire Department. He said he went back out to get his breath, then reentered the house on his hands and knees in search of the woman, 25-year-old Shana Little.

“I was able to locate her in the the bedroom,” he said. “She was just sitting on the bed. I had to pull on her to get her out of the house.”

Little was subsequently arrested and charged with arson. According to the law enforcement report of the event she had apparently put things on the stove to set the fire with her and her children in the house.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore said Little had apparently been upset with her children’s father before the event took place.

Mattox said he just relied upon his instincts and training when he arrived on the scene.

“When you roll up on a situation like that you have to rely upon your years of experience,” said Mattox who is an investigator with the Sheriff’s Department. “My training and prior experience as a firefighter helped me know what to do.”





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