Body discovered in Red Bank home that burned overnight

The homeowner called 911 to report a fire coming from the attic at about 12:30 a.m. (Image: WTVC)

A fire destroys a home in on the 600 block of Bitsy Lane in Red Bank early Friday morning.

The homeowners made it out unharmed, but police found a man dead inside.

Red Bank Police have identified that man as Darrel Chapman.

Officers are investigating the fire as an arson suicide, meaning they believe Chapman lit the house on fire before killing himself.

Neighbors tell NewsChannel 9 a man was renting the bottom of this house from the couple that owned the home and lived upstairs.

Benjamin Clark says the owner of the house is a fellow artist.

Larry Bullington owns Master Studios.

"Where you can see now the roof is fallen, that was his art room and that was his whole studio," Clark pointed out. "He taught art classes right here from his home."

Now, his home and studio are a total loss after a fire tore through the building.

His student John Waggoner witnessed the flames with him.

"I heard a real loud explosion. I looked out my front door and saw big flames," Waggoner said.

Neighbors say the fire started after what they described as a loud explosion around 12:30 in the morning.

Waggoner tells us it took nearly 3 hours to put out the flames.

"He told us that all the canvases and paint he had in there just kept fueling the fire and it looks like it took all of it," Waggoner said.

Police Chief Tim Chirstol says there is no indication the man they believe set the fire was attempting to hurt anyone else.

The Red Cross is now helping Bullington and his wife get back on their feet.

"I hope people in the community will come together and help this guy out because he's definitely doing a great service to the community with his art classes," Clark said.

Neighbors say another fire happened in this neighborhood a few weeks ago on Ravenwood Drive. It too was a total loss.

Police didnt release the name of the man who died.

A go-fund me account has been set up to help the Bullington family.

You can click here to help.

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