Police: Middletown man starts fire after fight with girlfriend

Bradley Bell, 23, of Middletown, is charged with aggravated arson and obstructing official business.
Bradley Bell, 23, of Middletown, is charged with aggravated arson and obstructing official business.

A Butler County grand jury will now consider the case of a Middletown man accused of setting fire to an apartment after an argument with his girlfriend.

Bradley Bell, 23, of the 200 block of Curtis Street, is charge with aggravated arson and obstructing official business for the June 1 fire at his residence that caused more than $100,000 in damages, according to police.

Explore FIRST REPORT: Middletown man charged with arson after apartment fire

Bell waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon and the case was automatically sent to grand jury, according to court records.

According to Middletown police, Bell got into an argument with his girlfriend, and she left around 3 a.m. Less than two hours later, Bell allegedly used matches and ashes to start a fire in the two-bedroom apartment.

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The Middletown Fire Task Force investigated the fire, and after interviews, arrested Bell near Franklin Twp., said Lt. Jimmy Cunningham. Bell was with his girlfriend, and she isn’t facing charges at this time, Cunningham said.

A 3-year-old girl living in the apartment wasn’t at home when the fire started, Cunningham said.

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The building is owned by Central Club LLC. Carl North, president of the organization, said the Alcoholic Anonymous meets there at noon every day and at night three times a week. The meetings will have to be moved if the building can’t be repaired, he said.

The Middletown Fire Department responded to the apartment at 5 a.m. and saw flames coming from the second floor, said Fire Chief Paul Lolli. He said firefighters searched for anyone in the apartment and no one was found. He said the fire was extinguished in about 15 minutes. There were no injuries, he said.

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