COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - Officials with Colonial Heights Fire & EMS say an arsonist who fire bombed two homes has been arrested.
Nicholas Patrick Owens, 37, is charged with one count of arson to a dwelling. Additional charges are pending.
One of the homes was bombed on June 27, in the 2200 block of Franklin Avenue. Then on July 1, crews responded to another fire, this time in the 2300 block of Franklin Avenue around 3:45 a.m.
Crews rescued a dog trapped inside the building, and it was quickly taken to the emergency vet.
The home was destroyed. The family was not home at the time of the fire.
The second house fire was also determined to be arson, possibly by firebomb.
"I built two years to get where I got. In a matter of seconds, it's gone," said Alexis Anderson, who lived in the home that was destroyed. "If you want to do this, if you want to go around and setting fires or something, go out in a field and do it. Don't do it at no one's house that they worked hard for."
Anderson lived in the home with his fiancee and five children.
A neighbor who did not want to be identified said her home suffered smoke damage.
"The house was shaking. I got up and didn't know what happened. I looked out my door and there was smoke everywhere. I couldn't see anything," said the neighbor.
Surveillance video captures the suspect approaching the front gate and then turning to head to the back of the home.
"He had to go on the opposite side of the house to jump the fence," Anderson said.
The fire caused $5,000 worth of damage for the building alone. When the furniture and destroyed personal belongings are added in, the family is out much more.
The family dog, Bella was trapped inside. First responders raced to her rescue.
"The dog died. I want to say thank you to all of Chesterfield [first responders]," Anderson said. "[They] brought my dog back to life."
Owens is being held at Riverside Regional Jail under a secured bond.
"Personally myself, they can rot in hell. I hope they catch him and fry him," Anderson said.
Anyone with information should call Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.
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