Lake County deputy serving warrant rescues man from burning home

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:48:15 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 08:53:22 AM EST
Umatilla fire

A wanted man burns a Umatilla home, according to officials.

UMATILLA, Fla. -

A Lake County deputy trying to serve an arrest warrant ended up rescuing a man from a burning home he set ablaze, according to officials.

The deputy was serving a warrant for grand theft and fraud charges early Tuesday at a home on Third Street in Umatilla when Charles Smithey threatened to commit suicide and ran inside the house, officials said.

Smithey barricaded the doors with furniture and set the house on fire, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

After trying to convince him to come out, deputies forced their way inside and rescued Smithey, who had minor injuries, officials said.

Smithey was taken to a hospital and will be arrested, deputies said.

One deputy was taken to a hospital and later released.  Others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and cuts, officials said.

Two dogs were killed in the blaze, which destroyed the home.

The state fire marshal will conduct an arson investigation.

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