Derrick Demar Mearis

Derrick Demar Mearis, 30, of Columbia, is being charged with arson and simple assault. 

A Columbia man was charged with arson and simple assault after a small fire in a Columbia house on Wednesday night. 

Police said that Derrick Demar Mearis, 30, of Columbia, lit a pile of clothes on fire with a Turbo Torch after a fight with one man and after hitting another man, who tried to stop the fight, in the head. 

Officers arrived at the house on Ironville Pike around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, where one man said that Mearis and another man, who lived in the basement, were fighting. 

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When the man tried to stop the fight, Mearis hit him in the head before leaving the house, police said. During the fight, Mearis was bitten by a dog in the house.

According to police, Mearis admitted to one of the men that he lit the clothes on fire. It was put out with a fire extinguisher. 

Police said it's unknown why the two men originally started fighting in the basement. 

Mearis is in Lancaster County Prison after failing to post $10,000 bail.