PD: Firefighters rescue Scottsdale man, Russell Jennings, after he sets fire to apartment

Posted at 1:17 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 16:17:45-04

A man who allegedly set fire to his apartment was rescued by firefighters while hanging 25 feet off the ground.

Court records show that on August 12, Scottsdale Police and Fire units responded to a report of an apartment fire near Hayden and McDowell Roads.

Police say that when they arrived, they saw smoke coming from a second-floor apartment. An officer went up and found 51-year-old Russell Jennings who retreated into the apartment and onto the balcony.

Jennings went over the balcony and onto a block wall that had holes in it for his hands and feet.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire before it spread to any other apartment units. They then worked to get Jennings down from the wall where he was hanging about 25 feet from the ground.

Firefighters attempted to put a ladder next to Jennings several times, but he pushed the ladder away and started climbing back toward the balcony.

Another firefighter was able to grab Jennings and pull him onto the balcony. Jennings struggled with firefighters and officers by spitting on them as they tried to get him to safety and under arrest.

Jennings allegedly started the fire because he was about to be evicted.

He has been charged with arson and aggravated assault.