Terry Fulfer, 26, was arrested Saturday night and faces a felony charge of arson. Siloam Springs police said in a released statement that officers responded at approximately 6:30 p.m. to Fulfer’s residence on the 1500 block of Hefton Court after receiving a report that an armed man was threatening family members.
Ruby Bentley who lives at the end of the street said police had neighbors park in their yards.
“Next thing I know here comes the police,” Bentley said. “There were two cops parked and they blocked the street.”
Police said man, identified as Fulfer, was armed with a sword and a bow and arrows and building fortifications in the back yard of the residence. When officers attempted to speak to Fulfer, he loosed an arrow at them and then started a fire in the back of the residence, police said.
When Fulfer loosed another arrow, police used next door neighbor Lori DeCandia’s backyard to clear a privacy fence.
DeCandia said Fulfer placed a flammable liquid in a bottle and lit the house on fire.
“They had taken care of the man under control, everyone was safe and the firemen can finally get to the fire,” DeCandia said.
Police said that Fulfer had armed himself with a sword when officers approached, forcing officers to use a Taser.
Fulfer was booked in the Benton County Detention Center at 10:27 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office website. He could face charges in addition to the felony arson charge, officials said.
DeCandia said the homeowner is Fulfer’s grandmother who was letting him and his brother stay with her.
“She loves her family,” DeCandia said. “She was trying to help them but I think it was just too much for her and that’s what the result was. You can only do so much for somebody and they make their own decisions.”
The police said the fire spread through the home and did significant damage. A 5NEWS photographer on the scene said the rear of the house was badly damaged, and the front of the house was also burned.
An iPix sent in by a viewer showed the rear of the house engulfed in flames while firefighters in the foreground attempted to douse the front of the house. A picture taken by a 5NEWS photographer Sunday showed almost the entire roof burned away.
Fire officials said family members in the residence were able to escape the flames without injuries. Several animals also made it out, and firefighters rescued a dog hiding in a bathroom after they were able to make entry.
“As bad as it is I’m hoping that they will all have a new beginning and they’ll be able to heal from this,” DeCandia said.