Deputies: Man Burned Down Ex-Girlfriend's House

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Deputies: Man Burned Down Ex-Girlfriend's House

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -A Volusia County man is accused of setting fire to his ex-girlfriend's home. Volusia County Firefighters and Sheriff's deputies said they were called out to a home within the 200-block of North Street in Deland at 6:11 p.m. on Saturday.

Investigators said Greg Cunningham,43, arrived to the home and asked to speak with his ex-girlfriend. The victim’s roommate was inside the home when it all unfolded and they said she told them that she told Cunningham that his ex-girlfriend wasn’t there and that she didn’t want to talk to him anyway.

Detectives said that’s when an angry Cunningham entered the house and ordered the woman to get out. She ran from the house, and as she turned back, the woman saw Cunningham holding a lit torch while pouring tiki torch oil on some patio furniture. Deputies said he then hopped on his bike and fled the area.

A neighbor then texted the homeowner and landlord, Andy Kelly and told him about the fire.

“The text was very simple,” said Kelly. “Your house is on fire, so I came running over to see. It was fully engaged,” Kelly said.

Kelly and firefighters arrived minutes later, but the home was destroyed.

The woman inside the home was able to get out in time. She suffered minor injuries. However, one of the victim’s three dogs was killed.

“My heart goes out to the tenant,” said Kelly. “She lost a 15 year old dog. We buried her this morning.”

The victim told investigators she broke up with the 43-year old a week ago, but he repeatedly rode past her home and called her after she asked him to stop.

She also told deputies Cunningham threatened to burn down her house, but she didn't believe him.

“I do know the tenant has been victimized and hopefully will recover,” said Kelly. “I know this is a tragic moment that she can’t forget.”

Deputies found Cunningham about two hours later.  They said he had a syringe with methamphetamine in his pocket.

Investigators also said Cunningham denied he set the house on fire and became aggressive during their questioning.

Cunnigham was charged with arson, aggravated stalking, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach and was being held on $12,750 bond.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation. The Red Cross, neighbors and a local church are helping the victim.

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