• Murphysboro man dead after setting his home on fire

    by  • November 29, 2013 • News

    Murphysboro police are reporting a 54-year-old man is dead after he allegedly battered a woman with a hammer around 1 o’clock Friday morning, and then intentionally set his Murphysboro home on fire.

    Police reports say Thomas Allan Miller was suspected of battering a 28-year-old female acquaintance of Murphysboro after he contacted her and asked her to come over and help him. house-explosion

    The female acquaintance reportedly told police she had gone to miller’s home, and when she arrived he attacked her with a hammer, striking her in the face and head. She was subsequently taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.

    Officers then went to Miller’s home to speak to him about the allegations, but as they arrived, a man who didn’t identify himself called 911 and said if police tried to enter his home, he would blow it up. He reportedly said he was filling the house with gas.

    Officers spoke briefly to Miller through the front door of his residence and having smelled natural gas in the home, they quickly determined he was the caller.

    Officers retreated from the home and contacted Miller by phone, while others turned off the gas to the house.

    A short time later, Miller said he had a firearm, and apparently ignited a fire in the living room. Within minutes, an explosion blew out windows of the house. A second explosion was heard minutes later inside the home.

    The fire spread quickly, but the Murphysboro Fire Department was able to knock the fire down and gain entry to the home.

    Firefighters discovered Miller unconscious in a hallway. He was attended to by paramedics and transported to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.