‘Hero’ Plan Backfires In Big Way

BISHOPVILLE – A Delaware man’s attempt to gain back the good graces of his fiancé this week backfired when he was arrested and charged with first-degree arson and six counts of attempted first-degree murder after setting a fire in her parent’s Bishopville home early Tuesday morning.

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the Bishopville Volunteer Fire Company responded to a reported residential structure fire on Back Creek Rd. Upon arrival, firefighters reported light smoke coming from the residence, but soon learned the fire had been extinguished prior to their arrival. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office conducted an origin-and-cause investigation and determined the fire had been set intentionally.

The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Brent Phillip Wright, 22, of Bridgeville, willfully and maliciously used a cigarette lighter to ignite a cardboard box in the home’s kitchen. The fire quickly spread to the floor of the kitchen and threatened to expand before being extinguished by a resident of the house prior to the arrival of the fire department.

The investigation further revealed Wright was engaged to a young woman who lived in the house along with five other people including two young boys ages 3 and 6. Wright and his fiancé had been involved in a domestic dispute the night before and he was told to leave the house in the morning. However, Wright later told police in a written statement he used a cigarette lighter to ignite a cardboard box in the kitchen “in an attempt to be a hero, save the house and the people and gain his fiance’s trust back.”

Wright’s plan to become a hero by putting out the fire he started and saving the people in the house appeared to have backfired when fire investigators did not take the results of his actions lightly. Wright has been charged with first-degree arson, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of reckless endangerment and one count of second-degree malicious burning. He was initially taken into custody and held in the Worcester County Jail without bail pending a bond review hearing on Wednesday.

At the bond review hearing on Wednesday, District Court Judge Gerald Purnell ordered Wright to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for March 10 in District Court in Snow Hill. In addition, during the bond hearing on Wednesday, an indefinite peace order was signed by the judge barring Wright from coming into any contact with the victims, including his fiancé.