Investigators say Sumter Co. arson result of domestic argument

Published: Apr. 24, 2015 at 2:28 PM EDT|Updated: May. 4, 2015 at 11:03 PM EDT
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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Investigators with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office have arrested a 24-year-old man after they say he intentionally set a home on fire following an argument with his girlfriend Thursday.

Brandon Cory Dowless faces arson charges after detectives say flames destroyed the home in the 4000 block of Livingwood Drive around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Dowless was seen leaving the home with items in his hand by an officer responding to the fire, and investigators say he told the officer he should call 911 before driving away.

Matthew Hawkins, a relative of Brandon, told WIS he is confused about what happened.

"I would like to talk to him and see why he's doing this because it doesn't sound like him," Hawkins said. "It just causes him more money more problems."

Dowless' girlfriend, Teal Leviner who also lived at the home, was not there when the fire started. She told investigators she had been arguing with Dowless all day and he threatened to burn her home.

"I've never had anything like this happen," Teal said.

Authorities say Dowless is aware of the charges and is intentionally avoiding law enforcement. Braden Bunch with the sheriff's office says once deputies posted a wanted flyer for Dowless on Facebook, Dowless responded to the post with explicit language.

Teal has created a Go Fund Me page for her and her three children to help rebuild. 

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