Police have charged a man in connection to his girlfriend’s death after authorities alleged that he dumped gasoline on her as she was smoking a cigarette in a Bensalem motel.
Kevin Smalls, 46, of Philadelphia, was taken into custody by authorities on Sunday after officials determined that a fatal 2:30 a.m. fire at the Lincoln Motel was the result of a domestic dispute between Smalls and his girlfriend Melissa Bacon-Smith, 6ABC reported. Bacon-Smith was killed in the fire.
"I don't know what sparked it. He claimed she laughed at him earlier in the night, but that's his side of the story," Bensalem police Lt. Robert Bugsch was quoted by 6ABC.
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Authorities have obtained video taken before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday that allegedly shows Small at a nearby gas station filling a coffee cup with gasoline, NBC10 reported. He then returned to the motel room where his girlfriend was waiting.
Police alleged that Smalls then flung the gasoline from the cup at Bacon-Smith as she was smoking, 6ABC stated.
A Lincoln Motel desk clerk entered their room after receiving a report that a person was on fire, NBC10 added. By the time she opened the door, the fire had spread to the curtains and in front of the TV.
Smalls had already left the scene, according to 6ABC, which quoted Lt. Robert Bugschs, “We believe [Bacon-Smith] reached out to him and yelled his name, and he left her in there to die.”
Firefighters had the blaze under control by 3 a.m. after rescuing at least three people from the second floor, 6ABC added.
Bensalem Township Police later found Smalls walking nearby with visible burns on his hands and smelling like gasoline, NBC10 added. He was treated at an area hospital.
Now in custody, Smalls was charged with criminal homicide, arson and other related offenses, according to reports.