FLORISSANT, Mo. — A man is accused of setting a house fire overnight that left a 16-year-old boy in critical condition.
The Florissant Police Department said that Bobby Copass of Florissant intentionally set the fire. He was arrested and is being held at the St. Louis County Jail on a charge of first-degree arson.
Police said Copass, who lives on the 1900 block of Curtis Court, is known to the family and the teenager.
The second alarm fire started at a home on the 1900 block of Curtis Court at around 3 a.m. Officers from the Florissant Police Department arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames but couldn't get inside.
The Florissant Valley Fire Protection District arrived and was able to get inside the home and find the teen unconscious.
Deputy Chief Mark Flauter with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District said the boy was in one of the front bedrooms.
"He probably retreated to an area where he felt safe, which was his room," he said.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the basement and made its way to the first floor.
The teen was rushed to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition Friday evening.
The fire district released a photo Friday of the hand light they used to find the boy that melted due to the intense flames.
"The fire burned very hot and our crews had to navigate holes in the first floor from flames originating in the basement," the district wrote in a Facebook post. "On top of that, we had icy conditions outside. It was a very challenging situation but we had great teamwork from all involved."
Neighbor Sheandra Daniel, who helped the victim's mom call 911, said the 16-year-old is a sweetheart. She said she saw firefighters pulling the boy out of the house.
"We were in tears, it was sad," Daniel said. "We prayed, 'Lord, please let him be okay.' I just want him to pull through, I want him to get better. I hope he’s okay."
Florissant police investigators worked with the St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit and identified Copass as the suspect.
The investigation is ongoing.
Fire in Collinsville, Illinois
Another fire happened at a home in Collinsville, Illinois Friday morning.
At around 12:20 a.m., firefighters responded Fairway Boulevard to find a vacant home on fire. The flames spread to the home next door.
Six people were able to get out of that home safely. The cause of this fire is also unknown.
Editor's note: officials originally reported Copass was also facing an assault charge. He is only facing one charge -- first-degree arson.
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