Evicted man accused of setting fire at Suffolk apartment building

Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 12:30:50-05

Suffolk, Va. - A man is charged with lighting an apartment on fire the morning he was evicted.

Suffolk fire officials say Dwayne Goodman, Jr. set the first floor apartment on fire around 5:45 Wednesday morning.

Suffolk Station Apartments says Wednesday was supposed to be his last day after he was slapped with an eviction notice.

Debbie Sendel woke up in the middle of the night smelling smoke.

She came outside and saw the apartment on fire next door. She says Goodman was calmly standing outside watching it all.

"He really didn't say anything because he was like he was shocked, like we were shocked. We didn't know what was going on either," Sendel said.

Sendel says she asked Goodman if he had called 911. She says he told her he had, but after a few minutes of not hearing sirens, she got suspicious.

"Then I went in and called them," Sendel said. Soon firefighters were on the scene, and started putting it out.

Investigators say Goodman put a rock through a sliding glass door, and then set the apartment on fire.

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Fortunately it was vacant and no one was hurt. Goodman lived in the unit above the one that was burned.

There's heavy smoke damage even in the room next to where it started.

Sendel says as firefighters put it out, Goodman stuck around.

"He stayed as long as we stayed," Sendel said. "He didn't run away."

The Sendels even invited Goodman into their home to get away from the cold.