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Man accused of torching ex-girlfriend’s home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- WREG talked to the former girlfriend of a man accused of setting her apartment on fire after she kicked him out.

Jeffery Boyle, 26, is sitting at 201 Poplar on aggravated arson charges.

A few days ago, a family lived at the Fox Meadows apartment off Winchester Road where police say Boyle intentionally started the fire.

Now it's boarded up and covered in ashes.

"I think back, what if my children could've been in there? What if me and my children were there?"

Maya Shinault, her 2-year-old and her 4-year-old weren't home when police say her ex-boyfriend, Boyle, set her unit on fire just before 5 a.m.

Shinault had left for work minutes before.

"I'm not sure if he thought I was in there. I'm not sure what he was thinking at the time," she said.

Neighbors in the connecting apartments woke up to the smell of smoke. One witness told investigators they heard noise coming from the apartment then watched Boyle run from the back of the apartment. Minutes later smoke started pouring out if the unit.

"They kept on beating and I heard some beating on another door and I hear, 'It's a fire! It's a fire!'"

"My neighbor, she knocked on my door, there was a fire above me. So me, my fiance and my daughter we got out of the house," said Lawanda Smith.

On Monday, Shinault is still in shock.

"I lost everything, so I'm just trying to get back on my feet," she said.

She said she had been dating Boyle for a year and a half. The couple broke up, and she kicked Boyle out of the home. Before the fire she told police he had been threatening her.

"It was too much."

While this young mother is working to get her life back together, she has a message for others.

"If you in a situation like that, make sure you get out of it please or you'll end up like me."

Boyle's bond is set at $250,000.