Woman dead, man arrested after mobile home fire in Paynesville

Updated: July 24, 2019 06:08 PM

A woman is dead and a man is in custody after a mobile home fire in Paynesville.

Paynesville Police said officers responded to a fire at 420 Minnie Street, Trailer 20, at about 6:52 p.m. Tuesday.

The department said initial reports indicated a man was pouring gasoline inside the trailer and started it on fire. When officers arrived, the trailer was fully engulfed, police said, and it was then learned that a woman was still inside the trailer.

"There was a police officer ... went to the back door, kicked the back door open," said neighbor Darwin Martinson. "Flames just came out at him, he just had to jump back and get out."

Neighbors and friends have identified the victim, as 22-year-old Jamey Newport, of Paynesville.

"Jamey was very caring loving always wanted to make people laugh," a friend of Newport's texted to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

The woman was located inside the bathroom, and lifesaving measures were performed before she was transported to Paynesville Hospital. However, she was later pronounced dead, police said.

"What possess someone to do something like this?" questioned neighbor John Pearson, who said he was praying for the woman's family. "God bless them."

An autopsy has been scheduled.

Police said a man was arrested at the scene. He has been identified as John Newport, 46, by the Paynesville Police Department. He was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment and later transported to the Stearns County Jail. Newport is being held on charges of second-degree murder and is awaiting his first court appearance, which could be Thursday morning.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Stearns County Sheriff's Office at 320-251-4240.

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