Police investigating after burglary, fire in Waynesville apartment

Police: Man arrested in connection to burglary, fire

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Police say 35-year-old Christopher Clay Safarik is in jail in connection with a fire and an alleged burglary of an apartment in Waynesville.

Courtesy, Warren Co. Sheriff's Office
Courtesy, Warren Co. Sheriff's Office (Source: Warren co sheriff)

Waynesville police say they were sent to the 100 block of High Street Sunday morning for a report of a building on fire and a person who had jumped from the second-story window.

After the apartments were all evacuated, Officer Jeff Gilcher says in the incident report that he was told someone was lying on the ground behind the apartment and was saying he set the fire.

Gilcher says when he approached the man, he said he was under indictment for stealing a car and other people were after him.

The man identified himself to the officer as Christopher Safarnik and he said he was in an apartment by LCNB Bank all day with “the people around the building.”

According to the report, Safarnik says he heard someone say “just take the shot” and he ran out of the apartment towards the apartments on High Street.

He told police the people chased him into an apartment, he pushed trash up in front of a door and lit a Christmas bag on fire.

Safarnik told police the fire grew so rapidly that he had to jump out of the window in the back of the apartment.

Officer Gilcher says Safarnik wasn’t injured so he was placed under arrest for aggravated arson.

Police say he had three outstanding warrants for his arrest - two felony drug warrants from Warren County and one misdemeanor bench warrant out of Waynesville court for failure to appear on no operator license.

Safarik is being held on no bond in the Warren County jail for aggravated arson and theft.

“This subject has been arrested on offenses related to this incident. We are still investigating the call. Additional information will be provided upon completion of the investigation.” Waynesville Police Chief Gary Copeland said.

One woman who lives nearby said she heard police knocking on doors early Sunday morning.

Another man told FOX19 NOW what he believes happened.

“I believe somebody was running from police and broke into the building, set it on fire, thinking he could set up a decoy. He trapped himself in the building, jumped out the second story building and broke his leg. And he deserves it.” said Ray Hatfield.

He says his neighbors are doing OK and the Red Cross is helping the people who lived in the apartments.

Safarik appeared in court on Oct. 29. His case was bound over to a grand jury. Bond was set at $350,000.

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