Officials: Man set house fire with 7 kids inside to 'gain sympat - - Columbia, South Carolina

Officials: Man set house fire with 7 kids inside to 'gain sympathy' from ex

Timothy Ricky Browder (Source: SCSO) Timothy Ricky Browder (Source: SCSO)

A Sumter man accused of starting a fire in his house with seven kids inside reportedly told investigators he did it to gain sympathy. 

The Sumter County Sheriff's Office charged Timothy Ricky Browder, 36, with arson, seven counts of unlawful conduct toward a child, filing a false insurance claim, and burning property to defraud insurers. He is accused of setting his house on Richland Avenue on fire on June 4.

Seven kids were inside the house at the time of the fire but nobody was injured.

Sumter firefighters determined the cause of the fire to be suspicious and notified the Sumter County Arson investigators. 

Investigators quickly interviewed Browder, who admitted to the crime in a written statement and told investigators that he did it in order to "gain sympathy from his ex-girlfriend that recently moved out." 

Browder also told investigators he filed an insurance claim on his renter's insurance. 

The incident remains under investigation.

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