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.
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.