Police: Man barricaded uncle in house before setting fire

Jan. 5—A Decatur man charged with arson barricaded the door of a Northwest Decatur home with furniture Thursday night before setting a mattress on fire and assaulting his uncle, according to police.

Charles Louis Shaw, 33, is being held at Morgan County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond on charges of first-degree arson.

The victim, whom police have not identified, was taken to Decatur Morgan Hospital and then transported to UAB Hospital. Decatur police spokeswoman Irene Cardenas-Martinez on Tuesday said the department had no additional information on the victim's condition.

The fire was set at 402 Seventh Ave. N.W., according to an affidavit by Decatur police Detective Jasmin Ferizovic, and police and Decatur Fire & Rescue were dispatched at 11:19 p.m.

Shaw resides at 224 Fourth Ave. N.W., according to court documents.

According to the affidavit, Shaw was in a physical altercation with his nephew while the structure was on fire.

The victim was suffering from both smoke inhalation and "multiple lacerations to his head," according to police.

The redacted affidavit states that Shaw was taken to the Police Department where he admitted to "intentionally setting fire in his bedroom while [redacted] were in the residence by using a lighter to light a foam mattress, barricading a door with furniture and assaulting [redacted] while the fire was active."

Decatur Deputy Fire Marshal Lt. Michael Bowling on Tuesday said most of the damage from the fire was to one room.

"The fire crews contained it inside. There was one room fully involved with a little bit of damage to an adjoining room, and then there was smoke and heat demarcation throughout the residence," Bowling said.

He said two men, both Shaw's uncles, had left the residence before Decatur Fire & Rescue arrived.

"One of them had minor injuries and one of them had moderate injuries," he said, and both were transported to the hospital.

Shaw's lawyer, Carl Cole, was not immediately available for comment. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 24.

Arson is a Class A felony punishable by up to life imprisonment.

eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.