Duval County

Jacksonville neighbor holds man suspected of setting house on fire at gunpoint until police arrive

A neighbor’s quick actions helped save a woman who was inside a burning home Wednesday in the Woodland Acres area.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said its crews put out a house fire on Dandy Avenue. JFRD said the fire was intentionally set.

Action News Jax’s Dani Bozzini spoke to the neighbor, Willie Mcbride, who happens to be a security guard.

“All of sudden I heard someone screaming, ‘Help, help.’ So I grabbed my gun and walk out, trying to figure out what’s going on. I come outside, the whole house is on fire,” Mcbride said.

He told Action News Jax he handcuffed the man suspected of starting the fire and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

A video from another neighbor showed the moments when the security guard stopped the man from leaving.

Mcbride said he even tore down part of the woman’s fence and used his voice to get the woman out of the home.

The fire department said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office took the man in custody.

The Red Cross was called to help, JFRD said.

Neighbors told Action News Jax, the man accused of starting the fire is the woman’s son. They said he suffers from a mental illness.

Watch Bozzini’s full interview with Mcbride after the incident below on the Action News Jax YouTube page: