Son accused of watching fire he set kill his dad, Tennessee police say

A man is accused of setting a fire that killed his father over the weekend in Tennessee.

Medics were called to the fire at a duplex on Valley View Road in Brentwood, which is near Nashville, just before 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Nashville Fire Department. When they arrived, they tried to rescue a man who was trapped in back of the home, but “the fire and the heat of the fire prevented them from doing so.”

Firefighters arrived shortly after and got the man, identified as Jim Hassey, out of the home.

He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died from his injures, according to the fire department.

The blaze was mostly contained to one part of the duplex, the fire department says, and a resident on the other side of the building was not injured.

Investigators were also called the scene and determined the blaze was intentionally set, the fire department says.

Now, the victim’s son, 26-year-old John Hassey, is accused of setting the fire — which investigators say was “incendiary in nature”— in his room in the home, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

One witness told officials that Hassey was standing behind the home watching the fire, according to an affidavit.

Someone asked him if he needed help, to which Hassey reportedly responded “you can help him if you want,” the affidavit says.

Another witness reported seeing Hassey standing in front of the house. When asked if everyone was OK, Hassey responded “I’m sure he will be alright” then left the scene, the witness said, according to the affidavit.

Hassey was later found sitting on a curb “several houses down” from the home and was detained, according to the fire department.

Hassey is facing arson and aggravated arson charges in connection with the fire, according to officials. The fire department says the investigation is ongoing and that more charges are possible.

He was arrested and booked in jail Sunday night, local outlet WKRN reports. His bond was set at $300,000.

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