MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police are trying to understand why a man would intentionally try to hurt his girlfriend and her children after he allegedly set their house on fire.
Police say it all started around midnight Tuesday when Pamela Robinson and her boyfriend, Norris Berryhill, began arguing outside of her home on Barron Avenue in East Memphis.
The altercation took a violent turn when she refused to go inside with him.
Investigators say Berryhill then stormed into one of Robinson’s children’s bedrooms and demanded to use their phone, but the child said no.
Enraged, police say the 55-year-old then slammed the door, went into the living room and set the carpet on fire.
“When we heard the fire trucks, that’s when I went outside and saw that house was smoking,” a neighbor said. She says she heard a lot of commotion after Robinson called 911.
The flames quickly spread through the house.
Investigators say Berryhill took off running, leaving Robinson’s three kids to fend for themselves inside the burning home.
Police haven’t released their ages, but they say one of them jumped out of a bedroom window from the second floor while the other two jumped out of their bedroom window from the first floor.
Two of the children cut themselves while escaping, but their injuries weren’t serious.
Firefighters put the flames out within minutes, but the damage is estimated to be around $30,000.
Investigators haven’t said what Robinson and Berryhill were fighting about, but the incident leaves many wondering why someone would set a house on fire just because they were mad.
Police are still trying to find the suspect. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Crime Stoppers at (901)-528-CASH.