Man dies in house fire after domestic dispute
Fire fighters at the scene where a two-storey five-bedroom family home was set on fire by (Inset) Michael Prince after a domestic dispute.
News
November 24, 2023
Man dies in house fire after domestic dispute

A domestic dispute late Wednesday night in Choppins, ended with Michael David Prince burning down part of his family home and ending his own life, early the next morning, in the blaze that ensued.

Prince, a Choppins resident, died at about 2 o’clock on Thursday morning, in the East St George community after he lit his family’s two-storey house on fire and set himself ablaze, as police officers tried to detain him over a domestic dispute incident during which he choked his wife.

He also broke the windscreen of a rental vehicle a family member was using before he succumbed to burn wounds in the burnt out bathroom of the home he shared with his family.

A family member told SEARCHLIGHT that there was a nine-night celebration at the residence, as the 97-year-old great uncle of Prince’s wife had died nine days before. It is said that Prince, 52, became intoxicated during the wake and later went to bed.

While sleeping, Prince, in a drunken stupor, wet the bed, got up and began urinating on a shoe rack in another part of the house. He was eventually led to the bathroom by his wife.

After Prince returned from the bathroom, he attempted to rest on a piece of sponge in the living area where some family members were and was told to return to his bed as the sponge was being used by some younger members of the household.

“He start to get on and get on, and he went back inside, so I said let me take a picture because when you drink and you drunk you don’t remember and you think that somebody tell lies on you,” the family member recalled to SEARCHLIGHT.

Prince then attacked his wife, choking her. Two of Prince’s wife’s children helped their mother get away from Prince and told her to run.

“He start breaking out the door, he mashing up and he taking off the TV off the wall and he slamming everything and I had a rental he smash the window…by the time the police came they couldn’t even restrain him,” the family member said.

A call was placed to the police, who on arrival on the scene, met Prince in an aggressive state. He had a gas bottle in his hand and was dousing the inside of the home with gasoline from a container. Prince then took cushions from a chair and lit them on fire.

He later ran into a back room to get away from the police.

“I remember this room in the back there was in flames and he was inside of it and I remember seeing him with the fire on his skin and his pants…,”

Prince, a father of four, ended up in the bathroom where he died in a pool of water according to family members.

The structure was extensively damaged and the five residents of the home lost most of their belongings in the blaze.

Police are investigating.