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Arson Rocks Small Community

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

Houston County sheriff's investigators say a case of domestic violence could have turned deadly in a last week fire. Early Sunday morning, investigators say a New Jersey man burned down a house rented by his ex-girlfriend.

Sarah, who chose to change her name for the record, said, “Our whole life, everything was in that house, every single thing that we owned, awards, and trophies, everything that we've built our life off of.”

Sarah had been staying at a friend’s house when she received a call stating the house she'd been renting out with her father, after recently relocating back to Alabama, has gone up in flames.

“Shock, horror, very, very upset, couldn't believe it happened,” said Sarah.

Afterwards, investigators came back to the house to see if it could have been one of two things, a gas leak or an electrical short. Instead they found it had been arson.

“This case involved an ex-boyfriend of the young lady who lives at this residence. She lived there with her father. The fire started in her bedroom and also her father's bedroom,” said Houston County Sheriff Lamar Glover.

Now Houston County investigators are looking for Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Afzal Khan for questioning.

Khan, who police say is either in New Jersey or the Wiregrass, goes by the name Bobby. A week earlier, police say he'd threatened Sarah and her family.

She had met him in New Jersey. She came home so he came here and apparently wanted to take her back with him

Houston County investigators are combing the area and contacting Jersey authorities to look for Khan. They have a warrant for his arrest. Meanwhile, Sarah has been busy finding a home for her kittens that were slightly burned in the blaze.

Afzal Khan is described as 5’10”, 180 pounds, with green eyes and brown hair. Anyone who has information is urged to call local authorities. If caught, Khan faces menacing, harassment, and protection order charges.


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