Suspect charged, victim identified after deadly house fire in North Memphis

MPD: Man charged with arson and murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis police have made an arrest after a deadly house fire in North Memphis.

Firefighters were dispatched to a home in the 1100 block of Gerard Street around 9:30 Sunday night.

When crews arrived on the scene, MFD said the fire was visible from the one-story wood-framed home. The fire was brought under control about 15 minutes after they arrived.

Firefighters found a man inside the home while battling the fire. Officials said he was taken to the burn unit at Regional One in critical condition. He suffered from second-degree burns and smoke inhalation.

The man was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The official cause of death has not been identified at this time.

Investigators identified the man killed as Gregory Fowler. Fire investigators revealed the residence did have a working smoke alarm.

Suspect Jerry Sanders
Suspect Jerry Sanders (Source: SCSO)

Jerry Sanders, 56, has been arrested for this fire. Sanders has been charged with aggravated arson and first-degree murder.

An arrest affidavit revealed why Sanders killed Folwer. Sanders was upset with Folwer over a theft and wanted him to leave the house.

Police said Sanders poured gasoline from the kitchen to the bedroom door of Fowler, then set the fire with paper towels.

Sanders also admitted to police that he started the fire.

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