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Man charged after police say he set Florissant home on fire with teenage boy inside

Man charged after police say he set Florissant home on fire with teenage boy inside


FLORISSANT — A teenager is in critical condition after a house fire on Curtis Court that police say a Florissant man set Friday morning. 

Bobby Copass, whose address is also on Curtis Court, was charged with arson, according to police. 

Police did not say if Copass lived at the house he's accused of setting on fire, saying only that he knew the family. He was being held at the St. Louis County Jail. 

The teenage boy rescued from the burning home by firefighters was in critical condition Friday evening recovering from life-threatening injuries, police said. 

The teen suffered smoke inhalation, according to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Flauter with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District.

The boy's name was not released. His mother was outside when firefighters arrived and told rescuers that her son was still in the home.

At 2:54 a.m. Friday, a caller reported smoke in the cul-de-sac. When fire crews arrived, they saw smoke coming from the front of the one-story home at 1915 Curtis Court.

They searched the residence and found the teen unconscious on the first floor. The fire was in the basement, Flauter said.

"They carried the boy out a front window," he said.

The department posted a photo of a hand light one firefighter used that melted from the intense heat. 

Florissant light melted in fire

A hand light used by a Florissant firefighter melted from the heat as the firefighter and others helped rescue a 16-year-old boy from a house fire Jan. 17, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District.

"The fire burned very hot and our crews had to navigate holes in the first floor from flames originating in the basement," the Facebook post said. "On top of that, we had icy conditions outside."

No firefighters were injured in the one-alarm blaze, Flauter said.

Taylor Tiamoyo Harris of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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