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Police: Husband started blaze by setting fire to bedsheets after argument

By Don Conkey
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 18, 2008 @ 08:11 AM

A Hingham man was arrested today after allegedly setting fire to his house following an argument with his wife.
Royce W. Coppola, 36, of 54 Rhodes Circle was arrested at about 2 a.m. while walking on Fort Hill Street, police Lt. Michael Peraino said.
Peraino said Coppola's wife called police at about 1 a.m. and said her husband had set the house on fire, then run out the back door.
When officers arrived, a bedroom was on fire.
The woman told police that no one else was inside her half of the duplex but that there were people in the adjoining apartment. Police woke those people and got them out of the house, Peraino said.
The woman told officers that, after an argument, her husband set a notebook on fire and threw it at her, Peraino said.
The woman said she was able to extinguish that fire, but he then set the sheets on a bed on fire, Peraino said.
Unable to put out that fire, she called 911 and left the apartment, Peraino said.
A resident spotted Coppola walking on Fort Hill Street about an hour later and called police. Fort Hill Street is about two miles from Rhodes Circle.
Coppola faces charges of assault with intent to murder, burning a dwelling and domestic assault and battery, Peraino said. He was being held without bail and was scheduled to be arraigned today in Hingham District Court.
The town's building inspector condemned the apartment at 54 Rhodes Circle because of the fire damage, Peraino said.
Residents of the adjoining apartment were allowed to return to their home.
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