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Long County man charged in arson of parents' home
MR arson back
Shown is the back of Terry and Diane Dasher's home after the fire on Tuesday morning. - photo by Long County Sheriff's Department / Special to the Courier
A Long County man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to burn his parents’ house down, as his mother was asleep inside.
At 4:12 a.m. on Tuesday, the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department was called to the Sand Hill area where Terry and Diane Dasher’s home was on fire. Terry Dasher was not at home, but Diane Dasher was asleep in the residence.
She said later that her son, Derek Dasher, 23, who has been charged with arson, saved her from the flames.
When firefighters arrived at 4:23 they found approximately half of the structure in flames.  The fire was determined to be under control at 4:41.
According to Long County Sheriff’s Department Det. Nicky Anderson, Chief Det. Ty Smith arrived at the home and spoke to two of the firefighters. They told Smith that when they arrived the Dashers’ son told them to let the house, “burn, baby, burn.”  According to the firefighters, the son also smelled of alcohol.
Smith then spoke to Derek Dasher and he claimed he had started a fire in a burn barrel, but the flames spread to a flowerbed in the front of the house, catching the structure on fire.
Smith said Dasher then said he had broken a window out on the house to get his mother out.
According to Anderson, State Fire Marshall James Atkins was called and he said the fire did not start where Derek Dasher claimed, but instead had started in the man’s bedroom in the home.
Anderson also said that earlier that night, LCSD Deputy Shane Middleton had been called to the residence regarding a domestic dispute between the mother and son.
According to the report by Middleton, the mother and on had been arguing around midnight and the mother said her son had gotten a gun, so she left.
She informed Middleton she wanted her son removed from the residence, so Middleton took the man to a friend’s house.
When the fire was reported, Middleton went back to the home and found Derek Dasher sitting in the front yard, next to a tree, watching the house burn.
Smith said that while speaking with both the mother and the son, they both said they had been arguing, and Diane Dasher also said that her son did save her life.
Anderson said that from the investigation, Derek Dasher was arrested and is currently in the Long County Jail
He is charged with arson in the first degree and criminal damage to property in the first degree, both felonies.
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