An 83-year-old Villager living with his grandson accidentally started a fire at his home.
Charles Newman was heating oil to cook hash browns at about 3 p.m. Wednesday in the kitchen of his home at 1813 W. Schwartz Blvd. on the Historic Side of The Villages, according to an incident report from the Lady Lake Police Department.
Newman decided to make a trip to Lowe’s Home Improvement and left behind his 10-year-old grandson who was playing video games. The boy discovered the kitchen fire ignited because the frying pan was left on the stove. A police officer arrived and put out the fire. The Villages Public Safety Department also responded to the scene and ensured the fire had been properly extinguished.
“Charles did say that he is getting older and is forgetting things more due to his age,” the police officer wrote in the report.
Newman made headlines in 2018 during an epic battle with his daughter over custody of the boy. Residents have expressed outrage over what is seen as lax enforcement by the Developer of internal deed restrictions with regard to children.
After the fire, a report was filed with the Department of Children and Families “so that Charles could get some help in caring” for his grandson.
The boy told police he is not in fear living with his grandfather.