TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — Local authorities responding to distress calls arrived to a house in flames, the fire fully engulfing 5703 S MacDill Ave. as Kent Perusse, 48, allegedly resigned himself to watching it burn while he sat across the street on his neighbor’s lawn.

He said, “I did it, ” according to reports, and he allegedly did it for love — a love now over.

He told police he started the fire with gasoline because he didn’t want his mother, wife or daughter to move in.

Minutes earlier, witnesses told police Perusse calmly walked down his steps in socks and shorts, with a soot-smeared face and third-degree burns on his lower legs.

Perusse also told police that he left his pit bull inside where it burned in his storage room.

He has been charged with first-degree arson and animal cruelty.

He was treated for two weeks in Tampa General Hospital after the Dec. 14 fire for his burns and smoke inhalation before he was booked.

Perusse was held on $55,000 bail, and his house is a loss totaling $72,804.

Comments (14)
  1. ron murray says:

    He did not have to burn it down; But I don understand! Go overseas, these issues will never come up.

  2. Skipdallas says:

    Mike, your troll shorts are showing!

  3. Marie says:

    Sounds like someone has not yet learned how to say “no” to others.

  4. June Purdy Sechowski says:

    He burned his own dog alive? Think about that. The one thing we can usually agree on is that a dog gives love unconditionally, and this man returned that trust and love with indescribable pain and fear. I could almost give him a pass on the house, (except that also put firefighters at risk, neighboring homes and is not rational either). But no pass on the dog.

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