Lakeland woman displaced after relative attacks her, sets home on fire

Lakeland woman displaced after relative attacks her, sets home on fire
Kimberly Powell
Kimberly Powell
Michelle Howard
Michelle Howard

LAKELAND, GA (WALB) - "I say, 'your house on fire!' She was like, 'stop playing.' I said, 'no, baby, no. I'm coming, I'm coming!'"

That's what Kimberly Powell's friend, Michelle Howard, recalled from last Friday afternoon when the smell of gas woke her up from a nap on Kimberly's couch.

The home was almost completely gutted by the fire.

"By the time I got to the front door and got to the stairs there, the roof was just coming back down," Powell said, as she stood in the burnt out remains of her home.

Powell said her cousin, Ebony Boyd, set the home on fire and Lakeland Police said that as of Tuesday afternoon warrants were in the process of being signed for Boyd, charging her with arson.

Powell said Boyd has mental health issues and had just run out of her medication and was threatening to kill herself.

Powell said she called 911 just before the fire to try to get Boyd to the hospital, but the police officer who responded along with EMS said Tuesday that Boyd refused to go, so they left the scene.

"Not even a good three minutes later," Powell recalled, "[Boyd] jumped on me." Powell said she fought her off as best she could and got her calmed down, then went to lay down in bed thinking everything was okay.

But almost as soon as she got into bed...Powell heard her friend screaming that the house was on fire.

"I come to the door after she hollered the second time and I seen nothing but fire headed towards me," Powell said.

As a result of the fire, Powell was living out of her truck as of Tuesday with the few belongings she was able to save.

"I had a few things that had a cover on it. They got smut, but they're important," Powell said as she leaned over the side of the bed of her truck and rummaged through the items she saved from the fire. "All I have is just some paperwork here and a couple of bags of clothes."

As of Tuesday, Lakeland police were actively searching for Boyd. Powell said she is about 5' 8" with skinny legs and may be wearing a black cap.

Boyd was last seen wearing a green and white dress.

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