CINCINNATI - An Oakley man has been charged with two counts of arson after investigators say he lit the branches of his Christmas tree on fire with a lighter in his basement apartment while Cincinnati police were also in the same building investigating a homicide.
Machall Castro, 22, is scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. Monday. Court records indicate he was arrested at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after being treated for first-degree burns to his hands.
Castro admitted to intentionally starting the fire, according to his arrest report.
Cincinnati police officers were called to the 3300 block of Alamo in Oakley for a report of a shooting at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday. Police said 24-year-old Dante L. Cross was found shot in the hallway on the second floor of the apartment building at that address.
Cross was taken to the UC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
While police were investigating the death, smoke started filling the apartment building. Officers started running up and down the stairs alerting residents of a fire in a basement. Everyone made it out of the building safely.
Police said the homicide and the fire were two different incidents.
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