August 27, 2014

Man suspected of starting deadly Omaha house fire says he is innocent

An Omaha man charged with starting a house fire last week says he is innocent. Terrance Hale says he was trying to help his elderly neighbors get out of their burning house.

Hale says on Thursday, February 7th he noticed smoke coming from Elizabeth and Raymond Vasholz’s home in the Florence neighborhood of Omaha. He says he rushed inside and helped Elizabeth to safety. Hale says he then rushed back inside to get Raymond out when someone pushed him to the ground. When he came to Hale says he broke a window to get out of the house and then called 911.

Prosecutors say that Hale broke into the Vasholz home and demanded money. When the couple refused they say Hale blocked the doors with furniture and started a fire.

Elizabeth remains in critical condition at a Lincoln burn center and Raymond passed away. Hale is being held without bond.