Durango man suspected of setting mobile home on fire

Suspect may have experienced psychological episode

The Durango Fire Protection District responded to a mobile home fire shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday near the Durango Dog Park. A Durango man who lived in the home is suspected of intentionally setting the fire. Enlarge photo

Mary Shinn/Durango Herald file

The Durango Fire Protection District responded to a mobile home fire shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday near the Durango Dog Park. A Durango man who lived in the home is suspected of intentionally setting the fire.

A Durango man was advised of his rights and possible charges Tuesday in District Court related to an arson investigation at a mobile home near the Durango Dog Park.

Timothy Phillips, 59, is suspected of setting fire to the home Sunday at 21804 U.S. Highway 160, in west Durango, according to an arrest affidavit filed in La Plata County Combined Courts.

Phillips told police he set the fire with the intention of killing himself, according to the affidavit.

A neighbor who noticed smoke and went to investigate found the front door open and Phillips sitting in the living room with a large fire behind him, according to the affidavit.

The neighbor asked Phillips what he was doing, and Phillips replied, “I have to kill myself because I killed my wife,” according to the affidavit.

Authorities contacted his wife, Priscilla Phillips, at work and she was unaware of the fire.

Priscilla Phillips told police her husband was diagnosed with late-onset schizophrenia two years ago. Since then, his personality has changed, with him becoming violent and unstable, she told police.

The Durango Police Department did not respond to requests seeking comment about the fire or the arrest.

shane@durangoherald.com

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