A Sumter man set his house on fire with seven children inside to gain sympathy from a girlfriend, according to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.
Timothy Ricky Browder, Jr., 36, of Sumter is charged with second-degree arson, seven counts of unlawful conduct toward a child, filing a false insurance claim, and burning property to defraud insurers, investigators say. Additional charges may be forthcoming.
Investigators say firefighters from the Sumter Fire Department responded to a fire on Richland Drive in Sumter around 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Deeming the fire suspicious, firefighters called in Sumter County arson investigators.
Deputies say Browder, who was distraught over a break-up, confessed to setting his home on fire with seven children inside to gain sympathy from his girlfriend, who had recently moved out. None of the children were injured.
Investigators say Browder, who had renters insurance, also filed a claim for the loss from the fire.