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Julius Drelick Killed in Fiery Fire by Daughter’s Roommate Christopher Gillie, Police Say

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with stealing a roommate’s car and driving two hours to her parents’ home to start a fire that killed the woman’s father, authorities say.

At a news conference Monday, a top Bucks County prosecutor said that 61-year-old Christopher Gillie drove to the home of his roommate’s elderly parents and set fire to his life. Julius Drelick, 81, who was unable to escape the flames. Gillie has been slapped with a number of charges, including murder crime, arson, and theft.

“I can’t imagine the horror they both must have felt when they were separated by the fire,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said at a press conference on Monday. “Now and forever.”

In her horrifying account of the deadly fire, Phyllis Drelick told detectives from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Buckingham Township Police Department that she remembers waking up to the sound of a smoke detector going off. when she and her husband slept upstairs at about 3 o’clock. on Sunday morning, under an affidavit of probable cause for captured by Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to Drelick, she was halfway down the stairs in the elevator to check on detectors when the power went out because the fire cut power to the chair the couple relied on to move between floors of their home.

After she somehow managed to get to the ground floor, Drelick said she couldn’t return the chair to her husband, who was stuck upstairs.

“I can’t stop thinking about the elevator frozen in place by the fire in the middle of the stairs,” Weintraub said on Monday. “The defendant’s intentional arson caused an electrical short in the booster chair shortly after Mrs Drelick used it to escape the fire and prevented Mr Drelick from doing the same.”

When the heat and smoke from the fire began to overwhelm her, Drelick sought help from a neighbor, the affidavit states. The Bucks County Emergency Contact Center said it received a report of the fire at 3:07 a.m

When officers arrived on the scene minutes later, they found Phyllis Drelick outside their home, where she warned them that her husband was still trapped inside. according to a news report.

The Drelicks’ house was so engulfed in smoke and flames that the firefighters couldn’t get in at first. When they finally got inside, crews discovered Julius Drelick upstairs, where he was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

The elderly couple’s daughter, Lisa King, told investigators her car and keys had been lost and that Gillie, her roommate, had not been found.

Surveillance footage emerged showing King’s brightly colored SUV entering Drelicks’ driveway at around 2:04 a.m. on Sunday morning before leaving about an hour later, authorities said.

When Officer Dunmore pulled Gillie into King’s car a few hours later, “a strong smell of gasoline” was palpable inside, and a lighter was discovered in the seat next to him.

Gillie allegedly told the officer who stopped him that he was drunk and had the keys to the Drelicks’ house in his possession. According to the affidavit, he also had an old rifle that investigators said was hanging over the couple’s fireplace mantle, in the same room where they discovered the source of one of the couple’s fireplaces. fires.

Gillie was placed on Monday and sent to the Bucks County Correctional Facility without bail.

Source link Julius Drelick Killed in Fiery Fire by Daughter’s Roommate Christopher Gillie, Police Say

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