Clarksdale Family Escapes After Firebomb Is Thrown Through Window

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(Clarksdale, MS) A family of four was forced to escape after someone firebombed their Clarksdale, Miss., home Friday morning.

The fire was so intense, it melted part of the house next door.

Police have launched an arson investigation and the family hopes someone is arrested soon.

Eighteen-year old Khalil Stapleton said he doesn't know why someone would torch his family's home on Barnes Street in Clarksdale.

"My step-dad was right here in the front room. My mom was laying down. She was in the bed actually, and they threw the bomb on the bed," Khalil said.

Stapleton was asleep Friday when the fire started just after 1 a.m.

Flames engulfed his mother's bedroom.

"It was a beer bottle filled with gasoline. And they threw it in the window. They threw it in the window right here and it just caught fire. All this was on fire," Khalil said.

His mother started yelling for everyone in the house to get up and get out.

Fifteen-year-old Jahrad Stapleton heard her screams and ran to help.

"So I immediately went to her room and I seen her bed was on fire. So I went to try to go grab some water to put it out, but that didn't work. I was throwing water on it but it was spreading so fast, and it wasn't working," Jahrad said.

Both brothers, their mom and their step-dad escaped without injury, but they lost all their belongings in the fire.

Friday, the family was shopping for new clothes so the two Stapleton brothers could return to school Monday.

The fire also caused some damage to the next door neighbor's house, where an elderly woman was nearly overcome by smoke.

The Stapleton brothers said they've lived on Barnes Street here for a year and half with no problems.

But Jahrad thinks it's clear someone was sending them a message Friday morning.

"They tried to set my brother's car on fire first, but I guess it didn't work so they tried to set the house on fire," said Jahrad.

An investigator with the Clarksdale Police e-mailed us Friday afternoon saying no one would be made available to talk about the Barnes Street fire.


  • Th

    Clarksdale really need a change…..these ill young thugs killing, shooting and breaking into homes and nothing is done about….parents need to be parents and know what their children are doing……judges need to get tougher on sentence….these lil punks to prison….and there need to be police sub station in high crime areas. Mayor and sheriff need to come to desota county ms and collaborate…..get help how to fix their town….Hornlake and Southaven police don’t play…….

  • madrina81

    Clarksdale IS a very small town to be having these kinds of crimes so consistently. No one knows what is happening, but fear of retaliation is why the FD and PD can’t solve anything. A trial that occurred a few years back involved the killing of several witnesses and people haven’t forgotten that. Everyone can find out where anyone lives, just like in a big city, but here, if you don’t have a car, you can walk. I’m from Memphis but live in Clarksdale during the week and I’m truly surprised. I thought being from Memphis, nothing could scare me. But these firebombs are happening in other towns. I agree, in Desoto County, they don’t play. They’ll search your car from tires to glovebox for not wearing a seatbelt. That’s overkill, but something is different there. Our police force is seriously understaffed and that’s one major problem. The other is that people down here are too scared to talk.

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