UPDATE: Huntsville Police Arrest Arson Suspect

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Craig Putnam Emerson (Photo: Huntsville Police Dept.)

Craig Putnam Emerson (Photo: Huntsville Police Dept.)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Police have arrested a man who allegedly tried to burn down two different homes in Huntsville on Thursday morning.

Craig Putnam Emerson is in custody.  He is charged with three counts of arson.Emerson, 45, is charged in connection with an incident Thursday morning at 3611 Knollwood Drive.

Police say a man threw a burning bottle at the home and then ran to his truck.  The bottle broke part of a window but the house did not catch on fire.

The suspect then went to 2834 Hilltop Terrace where he threw a small gas can against the house and drove away. The victim observed him running to his truck and then put out the fire. There was no structural damage in either incident.

Police have not revealed a motive yet, but relatives and acquaintances told WHNT News 19 Emerson recently went through a break-up and exhibited displays of unusual behavior.

“I don’t know, I guess he just kind of flipped out,” said Tiffany Oliver, who was home with three children when her house on Knollwood Drive was hit. Oliver said her mother recently ended her relationship with the suspect. “The glass came, busted through the downstairs window, and once that happened I got my kids up, took them upstairs. Looked out the window, and I saw him standing outside throwing another bottle.”

Just over 30 minutes later, another arson attempt was made at a residence on Hilltop Terrace. Willard Turner told WHNT News 19 he was home watching television when he heard a loud explosion coming from the front of his house.

“About 10 [minutes] after 10:00 I heard a loud boom,” said Turner, who identified himself as a distant relative of the suspect. “I go to the door and see this dude had thrown a gas bomb through my window and exploded in the yard. I just ran back through the house, put some clothes on, grabbed the hose and put the fire out.”