• Man accused of setting fire at ex-girlfriend's apartment to face judge

    By: Stephanie Tinoco , Mark Barber , Glenn Counts

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The man accused of setting a fire at his ex-girlfriend's north Charlotte apartment is due in court Wednesday.

    Authorities said Rickey McClurkin intentionally set Sunday morning's fire at the Hunters Pointe Apartments after getting into a fight with his ex.

    The blaze was the second two-alarm fire to rip through the Charlotte apartment complex in a month.

    Investigators said the mother he wanted to hurt was not home when he set the apartment on fire.

    Rickey Devin McClurkin

    (McClurkin)

    McClurkin has been charged with first-degree arson and second-degree burglary

    According to police, the incident is the fourth time he has been arrested in two years.

    [ALSO READ: Fire that destroyed office building at east Charlotte apartments ruled arson]

    More than 50 firefighters responded around 4:30 a.m. Sunday to the Hunters Pointe Apartment Complex on Prospect Drive, where bright orange flames and black smoke could be seen coming from the roof of a unit.

    Crews said one pet was rescued from the building and no injuries were reported.

    The Charlotte Fire Department determined the fire was intentionally set and said damages are estimated at $75,000. 

    Sunday's fire was the second arson at the complex in the last month. Police said the first intentionally set fire destroyed the leasing office and damaged four apartments.

    Channel 9's Stephanie Tinoco said the buildings that were burned in the first fire are still unrecognizable.

    On Monday, police said the latest arson is not connected with the previous fire, and was domestic-related. They have not elaborated.

    [ALSO READ: Fire that ripped through Charlotte apartment complex ruled arson]

    "You never know how far somebody is willing to take something," neighbor Chris Smith said. "He could have really harmed some other people. Like, he didn't really think of anybody else but himself at that time."

    Channel 9 learned McClurkin has been arrested three times, twice on drug charges and once for a DWI and assault on female. 

    Sunday's fire happened in the center of the complex and officials said they were able to contain the fire within about 40 minutes.

    John Williams, who was visiting a tenant, said he wants to know who caused the fire, and if his friends and family are safe to live in the complex.

    "It’s bad. I mean every time I come around here I see something new happening in the neighborhood,” he said.

    People who live nearby told Channel 9 they hope their neighbors are safe.

    "I hate to speculate, but it's something that someone needs to look into," Melissa Ahmed said. "It's bad enough when people get displaced, but when people get hurt that's really bad. We don't want it to get to that point."

    After a second arson fire, residents said they are worried.

    "I have a daughter here and she's three. She's my normal concern so all this stuff happening right here, it's kind of getting dangerous being around his area," resident Tam Nguyen said.

    "Do you think when you lay your head on the pillow that any second man I might have to? That's in general, that's life, but out here, it's definitely become a nuisance," resident Tenisha Parks said. 

    This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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