ONLY ON 5: Couple Accused of Setting Own Home on Fire, Lying to Investigators

Oct. 13, 2017 — Latonya McCants appears in handcuffs shortly after her arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Fire-Rescue arrested a woman Friday accused of conspiring to set her own home on fire and then lying to investigators about what happened.

Latonya McCants is charged with conspiracy to commit arson. She’s accused of helping her fiancé set her own home on fire. An arrest warrant is also signed for Tyrone Malone, who will be charged with arson. He is set to be discharged from a hospital in Birmingham Friday.

As she was being escorted to a police car McCants denied her involvement in the fire.

“Why would I set my own home on fire?” she said.

The fire happened September 8 on Greenlawn Drive. Fire investigators ruled it arson and said the home was vacant. 11 days later McCants contacted News 5 saying she lived there and claimed she lost everything. A GoFundMe account set up for her has collected nearly $300. Fire investigators say there were barely any remnants of any personal belongings in the home, which is why they said it was vacant.

Fire investigators say a series of lies is what helped lead them to the couple as their main suspects.

“We’ve gotten several different stories from Ms. McCants throughout this investigation,” said Steve Huffman, Public Information Officer for Mobile Fire-Rescue. “In fact in several conversations it changed several times during the same conversation.”

Several hours after the fire Malone checked into Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, MS with third-degree burns and lacerations to 40% of his body. 

McCants told News 5 her fiance was in a car accident.  She told fire investigators he was in a workplace accident in Mississippi and that she didn’t know he was hospitalized until the next day. Fire investigators have seen surveillance video from the hospital that shows McCants entering the emergency room with Malone five hours after the fire.

News 5 exclusively interviewed McCants two weeks after the fire. News 5 was also the only station on scene Friday as McCants was arrested.

Hear from her and fire investigators in Katarina Luketich’s exclusive report on News 5 at 5 p.m.

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