A 44-year-old woman was in jail charged with arson Wednesday following an early-evening fire at a home at 511 King St. in Rome.
According to Rome-Floyd County Fire Department investigator Mary Catherine Chewning and Floyd County Jail records:
Norma Jean Thornton, 44, was arrested on the scene and charged with felony first-degree arson and the misdemeanors disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
She was being held without bond Wednesday night.
Firefighters called to the one-story wood home shortly after 4 p.m. found it ablaze but quickly extinguished the fire and began searching for hidden flames. Battalion Chief Danny Lee said the fire started in a shed behind the house and there were reports of a domestic violence incident preceding it, so they sent for police and an investigator.
Chewning said she worked with Rome police on the investigation and determined Thornton — who had been living in the house with the owner — set the fire after the two had a fight.
“We had multiple witnesses who (stated) there was an altercation in the street,” she said.
The victim was in the house at the time of the fire, but he was able to escape.
“Neighbors got him to safety as the fire grew,” Chewning said. “He was checked out by (paramedics) at the scene and didn’t want to be taken to the hospital.”
Fire Marshal Johnny Evans said he was still reviewing evidence Wednesday evening on how the fire spread.