Gwinnett Fire: Man burning wife’s clothes set townhomes on fire

A resident of a Norcross townhome complex that caught fire Tuesday evening has been charged with arson.

Darrius Matthews, 34, was burning a box full of his wife's clothes in his fireplace Tuesday evening when the fire became out of control, spreading from his townhome to multiple others in the Robinwood Condominiums complex, said Capt. Tommy Rutledge, a spokesman for Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. The fire displaced more than 30 people two days before Thanksgiving.

READ MORE: Gwinnett condo fire displaces 30 just before Thanksgiving

“Many of the neighbors were home getting ready for the busy Thanksgiving holiday and could have easily been injured or killed,” Rutledge said in a release.

No injuries were reported by residents, Rutledge said.

Matthews’ wife and children had left the townhome a few days earlier, following “trouble” between Matthews and his wife, Rutledge said. The clothes were left behind by Matthews’ wife.

Matthews was detained on an unrelated warrant at the scene of the fire Tuesday night. He was later interviewed by fire investigators and charged with arson. He may face additional charges related to the fire, Rutledge said.

Matthews is being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond.

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