17-year-old charged with setting room on fire
Father injured trying to save son

LILBURN - A 17-year-old Lilburn resident is charged with arson after setting a fire that landed his father in an Atlanta hospital, officials said.

Gwinnett police have charged Jesse A. Cummins with first-degree arson for reportedly setting his bedroom on fire with an accelerant just before 4 a.m. Tuesday. The teen remains without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail.

Gwinnett fire spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said the teen's father mistakenly thought his son was in the burning home on Lilburn's Pitty Pat Court and tried to save him.

The man stood on an outside ledge of the single-story home, spraying water into the teen's bedroom with a garden hose. He sustained smoke and heat injuries and was transported first to Gwinnett Medical Center, then to Grady Memorial Hospital.

"The father was trying to protect his son," Rutledge said. "He was conscious and was talking to us when we got there."

Officials did not immediately release the father's name. Rutledge was unable to give an update on his condition Tuesday night.

Cummins fled the scene before the fire department was called. Gwinnett police tracked him down at a nearby location and arrested him without incident.

Two other adults were home during the fire but were not injured, Rutledge said.

According to fire investigators, Cummins used a highly flammable substance to ignite his mattress.

The blaze was contained to the teen's bedroom but caused smoke and heat damage throughout the structure, Rutledge said.