Upset by breakup, man starts fire in backyard, deputies say

Man starts fire in backyard after breakup, deputies say

LOGAN COUNTY, OK (KFOR/CNN) – An Oklahoma man stands accused of lighting an out-of-control bonfire in his backyard in the middle of the night.

It all started when neighbors were awakened just after midnight Wednesday. They said he was screaming and blasting heavy metal music the whole time.

A deputy from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office walked into the unpredictable situation and used a Taser on the man in his own front yard. The suspect was identified as Matthew Pavlich.

“I heard some screaming first," said neighbor Ron Epperson. “This guy was running around the house and in the backyard, he had a big fire going. And every so often, there was a big explosion. And he was really yelling and cussing, a lot of profanity.”

The flames in Pavlich’s backyard alarmed those who lived all around him.

The suspect was identified as Matthew Pavlich.
The suspect was identified as Matthew Pavlich. (Source: Logan County Sheriff's Office/CNN)

"It was probably 20-foot high in some instances," Epperson said. "That fire was something else. I was afraid there was going to be something fly over on one of the houses and catch it on fire."

When the first deputy arrived, he said Pavlich ignored his orders and charged him instead.

The kitchen stove was on inside the house. There were multiple space heaters on, the thermostat was set to 90 degrees and there was blaring heavy metal music., according to court documents.

Outside, firefighters quickly extinguished the fire made of furniture, home decor and a five-gallon propane tank.

Pavlich told deputies his girlfriend broke up with him and that he didn't mean to hurt himself or others.

"Mental health is a concern, however due to the nature of this incident, the public safety concern, and the crimes that were committed, we did criminally charge this individual," Undersheriff Troy Dykes said.

Pavlich was being held on a 25,000 bond.

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