Florida Man Set Hospital Bed on Fire to Get Nurse's Attention, Police Say

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

February 25, 2020

Florida man sets bed on fire

A Florida man who became upset because he believed he was being ignored by hospital staff is accused of setting his hospital bed on fire in an attempt to get a nurse's attention, the New Smyrna Beach Police Department said.

Authorities say the suspect, identified as John King, admitted to setting a plastic bag on fire on Saturday after he was admitted to AdventHealth for respiratory failure, and he believed the staff were ignoring his requests to bring him his clothes.

According to King's roommate, who was in the room at the time the fire was started, he witnessed King set a small object on fire, but convinced him to put out the flame. After the roommate returned to his bed behind a curtain, he saw King relight the fire and he used the emergency button to summon staff.

"The (expletive) in here lit his bed on fire. I can’t breathe. The smoke is in the room,” the roommate told staff.

A nurse entered the room after hearing the roommate yelling and saw the flames, shouting "Fire, there's a fire," and ran to the phone to dial 911, authorities said. A second nurse entered the room and was able to douse the flames using a fire extinguisher, when she spotted King attempting to make his escape.

Authorities confiscated a silver and red Bic lighter from King, who was arrested on a felony charge of arson. The hospital bed was damaged beyond repair and a new one was ordered, which costs $4,000.

No one was injured in the incident.

Photo: New Smyrna Beach Police Department

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