NC man charged with attempted murder, arson

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Connie Huff Blanchard, 65, of Rougemont

DURHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies said a man tried setting a house on fire in Durham County, but ran off after a fight with the homeowner.

WTVD reported that Connie Huff Blanchard, 65, of Rougemont, is accused of using a blowtorch to set a home on fire.

Deputies said it happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 11000 block of Wilkins Road in Bahama, according to WNCN.

The homeowner, James Mangum, told deputies he smelled smoke and went outside to check it out. He said he found Blanchard with the torch.

Deputies said the men struggled over the blowtorch and Blanchard ran off. Mangum stayed at the home to put out the fire and call 911.

Deputies later found Blanchard at his home on Bahama Road in Rougemont. They said he admitted to starting the blaze.

He was checked out by paramedics for the numerous injuries he received in the fight with Mangum – including two black eyes and facial swelling.

Medics determined he did not need to be hospitalized and he was placed in the Durham County Jail on first-degree arson and first-degree attempted murder charges. Bond was set at $1 million.

Deputies said Mangum and Blanchard knew each other before the incident. The motive for the alleged arson was under investigation.

Mangum has not been charged with anything related to the fight.

Source: WTVD and WNCN

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