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This body-cam video shows Washington County, New York sheriff’s deputies rescuing a man from a roof at a Hudson Falls house fire on Wednesday. That man, 22-year-old Derrick Guilder, has now been charged with murder and arson after investigators determined Guilder set the fire because his girlfriend wanted to break up with him. The video also shows firefighters and deputies trying to rescue 19-year-old Ashley Coltrain from the fire. Coltrain had called 911 saying she was trapped in the fire.
Police said Guilder and Coltrain had argued about ending their relationship.
Police said Guilder started the fire early Wednesday morning by burning pieces of paper on a couch in the home. He then went upstairs in to a bedroom where Coltrain was sleeping and locked the door. The fire spread quickly through the house, which did not have working smoke detectors, investigators said. An air conditioning unit in the living room helped spread the flames.
Coltrain called 911 for help but could not get out of the home. She was found dead on the second floor after firefighters were able to search inside, Hudson Falls Fire Chief Michael Fitzgerald said.
“We wondered how he got out and she didn’t. That was it. That was our first thing was how did he get out and she didn’t,” Evelyn Pratt, of Hudson Falls, said.
That same question is what investigators found themselves asking when Guilder made it out to the roof through a window after pulling out an air conditioner unit in the second-floor bedroom. Meanwhile, police say his girlfriend 19-year-old Ashely Coltrain called 911 but did not make it out of the blaze.
Guilder now charged with murder and arson, police say he admitted to starting the fire in the downstairs living room by lighting papers on fire on a couch. Police say he went into the couple’s bedroom where Coltrain was sleeping and shut the door, but why?
“He was upset over the two of them were going to break up,” Hudson Falls Police Chief Randy Diamond said.