A 29-year-old Florida man has been arrested and charged after investigators say the man purposely started a garage fire that killed his animals and damaged a nearby home.
On April 7, Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies, on multiple occasions, responded to a residence on Collingswood Street in Spring Hill, Florida, following numerous 911 calls made from a resident of the home.
Deputies say on each occasion, the sole occupant of the home, Evan Saslaw, 29, refused to speak to deputies at the scene or let them inside the residence.
On April 8, at 9:40 a.m., numerous individuals called 911 to report an explosion and fire at Saslaw’s residence on Collingswood Street.
Witnesses saw Saslaw running away from the residence, possibly armed with a handgun, according to investigators.
Deputies located Saslaw a short time later in the area of Ludlow Lane and Norvell Road in Spring Hill. Saslaw was immediately taken into custody on the active warrant for the Misuse of 911. A gun was located in Saslaw’s possession at the time of his arrest.
Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the scene to extinguish the fire. During a search of the debris, firefighters located three cats, two dogs, and a snake that had perished in the fire. Only a dog and a cat survived the fire.
Deputies say the fire investigation showed that Saslaw started the fire by pouring gasoline in the garage area and lighting it on fire. Saslaw told investigators he wanted to, “Cause a scene to get people to notice.”
The heat generated from the fire damaged several windows of a neighboring home.
In addition to the warrant arrest, Saslaw was arrested on charges of Arson, Criminal Mischief, and six counts of Animal Cruelty.
Saslaw remains incarcerated at the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of a $36,000 bond.