A Cottondale man has been charged with first-degree arson after he allegedly set fire to a home from which he had been recently evicted Saturday.

According to court documents obtained by the Thread, police were called to a residence on Laurelwood Drive in Tuscaloosa Friday afternoon on reports of a suspicious fire there.

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Investigators said someone had poured gasoline on the side of the home and set fire to it while a resident was inside unaware.

The resident was able to get out of the house and extinguish the fire with his garden house, and police began investigating who started the fire and why.

They developed 39-year-old Jeremy Charles Smith as a suspect after finding out he had recently been evicted from the property where he had been the victim's housemate.

Investigators found Smith Sunday and interviewed him at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, where he allegedly admitted to pouring the gas and starting the fire.

Smith was charged with first-degree arson, a Class A felony offense, and placed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $30,000 bond. He remained jailed Tuesday morning.

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