Couch burned, none injured in College Manor fire

Published 11:01 pm Monday, April 6, 2009

A resident at College Manor, a Cahaba Mental Health apartment complex on Earl Goodwin Parkway, set fire to his couch on Monday afternoon, damaging the couch and part of his living room.

“Cahaba Mental Health houses a bunch of their patients there,” said Lt. David Evans of the Selma Police Department. “One of them started a fire to a couch. It burned the couch and just the area around the couch.”

The Cahaba Mental Health Web site identifies the complex as a “semi-independent living apartment.”

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Neighbors identified the man as Marion Suttles. Suttles was seen in the back seat of a police car after the fire was put out. He was released a short time later.

“He came and knocked on the window and said, “Come on. Get out. The apartment’s on fire,’” said Lolita Tyus, a neighbor. “I went down there and the couch was on fire,”

Another neighbor, Patricia Cooper, aided in fighting the blaze.

“[Tyus] was crying and hollering that the place was on fire, so I got down here with some water to put it out,” said Cooper. “I got a bottle to pour it on the couch and stuff, and got here just in time.”

The police department was uncertain of Suttles’ reason for setting his couch on fire. Neither neighbor was certain about what set Suttles off.

“They said it started over at Cahaba Place,” said Tyus. “He got mad about something over there, so that triggered it off I guess.”

The property manager refused identification and declined comment. Calls to the Selma Fire Department and Cahaba Mental Health executive director Lafon Barlow were not immediately returned.