Man locks self in burning room

Published 12:48 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An Opp man is in serious condition after he set a bedroom on fire and refused to come out.

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald said that on Sunday at approximately 9:36 a.m., OPD A-shift officers responded to domestic situation at the 100 block of Kolb Avenue.

“Upon the officers’ arrival and entry into the residence, James Robert Watkins, a 59-year-of-age male resident of Opp, ran into a bedroom of the residence and locked the door,” he said. “Watkins then poured gasoline around the bedroom and ignited a fire.”

McDonald said Watkins refused to come out of the burning room. Officers made a forced entry into the bedroom and removed Watkins from the residence.

“Officers attempted to control the fire until Opp Fire Department units arrived on the scene and extinguished the flames,” McDonald said. “Watkins was transported by ambulance to the Mizell Memorial Hospital emergency room and was later transported to a Dothan hospital in serious condition.”

McDonald said three OPD officers were treated at MMH for smoke inhalation, and have returned to duty.

The case is currently under investigation by the OPD and the Alabama Fire Marshal’s office.